Considering the popularity of White Linen Night, this year the Contemporary Arts Center, which manages the event, has expanded the duration of the street party by an hour, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The extra 60 minutes is meant to allow art lovers more time to peruse art venues or dine in the growing list of Warehouse district restaurants. The evening concludes with a dance party at the CAC from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The main attraction of the August 6 party is hopping from art exhibit to art exhibit in the galleries spread out along the 300 to 700 blocks of Julia Street, where visitors will find examples of the finest painting, sculpture, and photography from the region. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art at 925 Camp St. and the Contemporary Arts Center at 900 Camp St. also mount major exhibits in honor of the enormous art outing.
With wide-ranging group shows at the CAC, Ogden, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Boyd Satellite Gallery and other spaces, 2016 is a particular art-viewing bonanza. If you want to take the temperature of the New Orleans art scene in one outing, White Linen Night 2016 is the outing. Visit the CAC website for a rundown of all participating galleries.
Based solely on running my eyes down the preview list (and a few years of art-watching experience), the show recommend most is "New Wave," an installation by the brilliant Kyle Bravo and Jenny LeBlanc at Arthur Roger Gallery, 432-434 Julia St.
The White Linen Night extravaganza began 22 years ago as a modest off-season Martini soiree featuring fine contemporary crafts. Over the years, the August gathering has become an important fund-raiser for the CAC, which benefits from the sale of drinks at street-side bars, sale of first class food at 25 outdoor restaurant booths.
Admission to the Julia Street gallery exhibits is, as always, free. Admission to the CAC is $10. And for those who don't mind paying extra for luxury during the four-hour gallery stroll, the CAC has conceived the "Cool Down Lounge," located at The Lighthouse, 743 Camp St. The $50 admission includes 2 complimentary drinks, snacks, private restrooms, air-conditioned seating and admittance to the CAC's concluding dance party.