Longue Vue’s Creative Residence program is inspired by the work started in 1928

with the Rosenwald Fund’s program for Individuals of Exceptional Promise.

The home of New Orleans philanthropists Edith Rosenwald and Edgar Bloom Stern, Longue Vue was a location of conversation and community engagement. Edith’s father, Julius Rosenwald, was the president and CEO of Sears, Roebuck & Co, and a generous philanthropist in the early 20th century. The Rosenwald Fund had many projects mainly centered on the building of schools in the rural south, but one of the most unique projects gave out grants to individuals for them to study and travel in their field. The Individuals of Exceptional Promise program gave money in varying disciplines from chemistry to music composition. In the 20 years the Fund existed, it distributed grants to 862 individuals. The Sterns followed in Rosenwald’s footsteps with their support of contemporary art, education, health, music, and voting rights. It is through this historic connection of supporting unique thinkers that Longue Vue has created its creative residency program.

For questions about this program or inquiries regarding future residency opportunities, please email Curator & Historian Lenora Costa at lcosta@longuevue.com.

Current Creative Residencies at Longue Vue

LAVONNA VARNADO-BROWN (2022-Present)

Longue Vue is excited to welcome our newest creative resident, LaVonna Varnado-Brown! LaVonna is a multidisciplinary artist and community worker. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Southeastern University Louisiana with a focus in Theatre and Liberal Arts. After studying abroad in London and Paris in the summer of 2009, LaVonna has worked as an installation artist, artist advocate, teaching artist, and tutor in and around New Orleans. LaVonna creates mixed media visual art that is AfroFuturistic in aesthetic with odes to history, the Divine Feminine, and floral daydreams abounding. AfroFuturism is a cultural aesthetic that explores the intersection of art and history with intention to inspire action in the now by healing beyond  trauma. In addition to creating multimedia works, LaVonna curates intentional workshops and expos with a focus on healing and raising spatial awareness. Through her work she hopes to uplift the narrative of rest, joy, resistance, and abundance.

LaVonna’s exhibit that she is creating to be displayed here at Longue Vue is titled, Be [The Light (Between the Earth & Sky)]. Use the buttons below to register for our Member Preview on Tuesday, September 27 or our Creative Residency Exhibit Opening on Thursday, September 29 that is available to the general public.

 

VIP LADIES & KIDS SOCIAL AID AND PLEASURE CLUB (2020-Present)

The VIP Ladies and Kids’ mission is to ensure all members work within the community and are culturally competent. VIP goals are to sponsor activities, provide educational resources that allow children to experience our cultural traditions, craftsmanship, and host empowerment workshops that focus on the history of New Orleans and the culture of second lines. The VIP Ladies and Kids annually sponsor back to school events, health fairs, Halloween carnivals, and adopt homeless families. We gutted homes Post- Katrina for the elderly and disenfranchised citizens of historic uptown New Orleans. VIP has been featured in the “Hey Mama” music video by Mat Kerney; theme song for the featured film Mother’s Day, HBO Treme Series, American Horror Story, and Sunday’s Best. VIP has performed for Jazz and Heritage Festivals, Super Bowl in New Orleans, The Mayor Inauguration , and NBA All-star games. For the past 15 years the organization has broken many barriers African-Americans face within the community around social justice issues.

Click HERE to view photos from our March 2021 Free Family Sunday at which the VIP Ladies hosted their parade date event! Also pictured is our on-campus exhibit curated by Longue Vue Curatorial Assistance Ilyanette Bernabel, who created a retrospective exhibit of past parades by VIP showcasing their special style and second-line parade attire traditions.

Previous Creative Residencies at Longue Vue

MÉLANGE DANCE COMPANY (2020-2021)

Mélange Dance Company’s mission is to make contemporary dance accessible to New Orleanians by creating meaningful, high quality productions, often inspired by history and social justice, that educate, entertain, and inspire positive change. We offer free dance classes and provide performance opportunities for local professional dancers. Mélange Dance Company was founded in 2014 by Artistic Director Monica Ordoñez and Executive Director, Alexa Erck Lambert. We are a New Orleans-based 503c3 nonprofit working to present cutting edge choreography that thoughtfully engages audiences through a careful connection of movement to music and emotion. Mélange presents socially relevant, multi-dimensional, meaningful, and entertaining narratives that are often inspired by history and social justice. We integrate film, elaborate costuming, set design, and other areas of art to ensure a high quality and unique presentation of dance. The company is comprised of a fusion of dancers who are well versed in a variety of training, background and styles of dance. It is part of our mission to create shows that are accessible to a wide range of audiences and are meant, not only to entertain, but to be moving, inspirational, and thought provoking.

KORI ALUGAS (2021)

My name is Kori Alugas (she/her/hers). I am the founder and CEO of Decluttered SouIs, a center designed for LGBTQ+ people to be free to express themselves in an environment without judgment. Our goals include using Art, Music & Dance for personal therapy by becoming modes through which all clients can explore healing on various levels while experiencing compassion from other members of the community! The main goal at our self-care facility will be to provide each individual with the tools necessary to love who they are and encourage others along their journey. 

Our center will use Art, Music, and Dance as a means of personal therapy. These different art forms will become the way for each client to speak their truth creatively without fear of judgment or censure. This, in turn, helps increase self-esteem, awareness, and mindfulness while decreasing anxiety and stresses from everyday life. 

I believe that everyone should feel like they belong. That is why we make it our priority to provide Diversity and Inclusion training, including pronoun training, for organizations in order to create inclusive spaces where people with marginalized identities can thrive. We want you to know your worth so when you’re out there living life as your authentic self, the world accepts and loves who are just as much too! 

I created this program because, as an individual of the LGBTQ community, I struggled a lot to accept myself and my sexuality. This caused me to be ashamed of who I truly was and live for others instead. With that being said, you may not know how passionate I have become when helping other individuals learn how they can also love themselves more! Eventually, by taking time to understand what self-love is all about and applying it into my life, I can now live in my truth. 

JAKILAH MASON, GARDENER-IN-RESIDENCE (2020)

We are pleased to introduce Longue Vue’s inaugural Gardener-in-Residence, Jakilah Mason! Kilah developed two gardens here in our Discovery Garden and East Lawn. Their Afro Gardens here served as part of their continuing study of gardening, plant medicine, culinary arts, and African disasporic cultural practices.

Artist Statement: Jakilah Mason is a child of Africa who is learning to find their way back home. A lifelong learner and researcher, the Afro Garden is part of their continuing study of gardening, plant medicine, culinary arts, and African diasporic cultural practices. They received their MLIS degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014, and their Bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida in 2012. In addition to the residency at Longue Vue, they also work as a groundskeeper for the NOCCA Institute Press Street Gardens. Jakilah would like to thank their mother, Jacquelyn Mason, who fortunately for them was kind enough to share her gardening and cooking talents with her progeny. To connect with Jakilah over gardening or their other interests (including writing, music making, and genealogy) email them at jakilah.mason@gmail.com.

The Afro Garden’s goals are: to educate the public about African Diaspora culinary and medicinal knowledge, to demonstrate applications of this knowledge through cooking and medicine making, and to emphasize both the wide variety influences on African Diasporic cooking and its prominent influence globally.

Nola.com feature: Herbs and vegetables of the African diaspora grow at Longue Vue, with roots deep in the past

DEIDRE HALL, CULINARY ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE (2021)

Visit Edith & Edgar’s Museum Cafe in the Gate House for hibiscus rose iced tea (garnished with petals from the Longue Vue gardens), lavender vanilla iced coffee, specialty handcrafted baked goods, and much more. Edith & Edgar’s has added a fresh, culinary element to the Longue Vue House and Gardens experience. With seating overlooking the beautiful Oak Lawn, our on-site refreshments have taken on a garden theme under the direction of past Culinary Artist-in-Residence Deidre Hall. Guests can view featured menu items, as well as current operating hours, at the Edith & Edgar’s Museum Cafe web page.

Photo by Claire Bangser

HANNAH CHALEW, ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE (2019)

As an artist who uses plants as part of her work, Longue Vue was a natural location for Chalew to explore. Most visible during her time on site was a solar cart that produced the power needed for her paper making that makes up the majority of her artist practice. Chalew lead multiple workshops on papermaking and ink made from oak galls, a centuries old practice that uses growths from the gall wasp as the pigment for ink. Her residency concluded with a group exhibition entitled Overgrowth that included the work of local artists Zarouhie Abdalian, Claire Beauchamp, Hannah Chalew, Ana Hernandez, and Cora Lautze.

Visit Hannah’s website here: https://www.hannahchalew.com/

JAMAR PIERRE, ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE (2018)

In honor of the city of New Orleans’ 300th anniversary, artist Jamar Pierre was chosen for a year-long residency of workshops and exhibitions. With a studio on site that he used daily, JP was a constant presence at Longue Vue, sketching and talking with visitors. The first exhibit in May of 2018 called CITIZEN OF THE WORLD, SON OF NEW ORLEANS featured his work throughout the world and connected it to New Orleans. The residency concluded with A Longer Vue in October 2018 about the work created on site at Longue Vue.

Artist Statement: “My goal as a visual artist is to educate, inspire, and ensure the preservation of the rich cultures and historic and natural landmarks of the world through art. I believe visual artists have the power to universally induce emotional response through each brush stroke, choreographing vital colors and shapes both intuitive and multifaceted. – Jamar Pierre

Visit Jamar’s website here: https://www.artbyjpierre.com/

PEG USNER, ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE (2015-2018)

Local artist Peg Usner came to Longue Vue in 2014 for a plein air class and never left, continuing to paint and teach through all weathers. Her residency concluded with exhibition Impressions: New Orleans, Northshore and Beyond in September of 2018 and showcased her work from Longue Vue’s Spanish Court and the Tchefuncte River to the Smokey Mountains and Jefferson Island.  Usner’s control of light brings breath to the canvases as it glistens off the edge of a pool of water.  Her technique is equally controlled in her architecturally driven city ‘scapes and buoyant nature of spoonbills as they fly into the air.

Visit Peg’s website here: https://www.pegusner.com/