Partial retrospective of Jan Gilbert work opens at The Front

A retrospective exhibit of past work, combined with a presentation of new work, from NOPA member and New Orleans artist Jan Gilbert, “30 Years / 30 Blocks,” will open Saturday, June 9 at The Front, an artist-run collective and art gallery in the Crescent City’s Bywater neighborhood.

An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. The series will run through July 8.

According to gallery, Gilbert’s new collection features the interior and exterior of The Front’s building, alongside archival documentation of Gilbert’s public art portfolio. The exhibit also features Gilbert’s plans for a new series of public art pieces, a series set to appear on the streets of New Orleans in 2014.

At the same time, the gallery’s back yard and its chain link fence will feature a collaboration between Gilbert and artist Babette Beaullieu in work meant to mark the opening of another hurricane season. This will be include a hybrid of Cajun prayer flags and imagery of Cajun Mardi Gras costumes. Exhibit attendees will be presented with papers and pens for this portion of greater exhibit, and encouraged to offer their personal wishes or payers in writing. They may then tie these prayers or wishes to the fence.

The idea of devotional offerings here is borrowed from and blended with traditions from Tibeten, Japanese and Cajun traditions, according to the gallery.

Gilbert’s works have been exhibited in galleries, museums and cultural centers across the United States and the world. These works have ranged in scale from a tiny and intimate to large-scale, multi-media public art. Her works have involved painting, printmaking, photography, and installation. She is the co-founder of The Vestiges, a collective of artists and writers.

The Front is located at 4100 St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans. It is open from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.