In high school, I loved art. Art history, art class- I took every chance I could to learn more about it. I wanted to know about every artist and every art form, I wanted to go to every museum. I’m lucky because in Tampa (where I’m from) we had some really great exhibits. My favorite by far was the Dali Museum in Clearwater; I got to see Dali’s best works just 30 minutes from my house.

I came to New Orleans ready to soak up everything. I knew NOLA had tons and tons of galleries waiting to be explored, plenty of street artists, and some beautiful museums. But I got distracted by a new found weakness: music. I’d always loved music, but high school me did not have the freedom (and more importantly, the driver’s license) to go see shows. I discovered some wonderful Loyola bands, New Orleans acts, and even got to see some big names at the House of Blues and the Arena. I fell in love with brass and jazz; I couldn’t get enough of washboard zydeco. I highly recommend everyone in New Orleans take advantage of all the amazing concerts going on over Mardi Gras!

But here I am. A senior. 3 months left. And I can’t stop thinking about art, my first love. Last weekend I rode my bike from campus to the Quarter and I walked around to see all the local galleries. I came across the Craig Tracy Painted Alive Bodypainting Gallery- he’s an artist who paints on peoples bodies, creating elaborate landscapes and designs, and then photographs the results. It’s stunning work! After that, I walked around Jackson Square and decided to invest in a painting. For $30, I got a beautiful picture of a New Orleans trumpet player. I’m going to hang it up on my wall where ever I end up next year so I’ll never forget NOLA.

There’s one thing I still want to see: the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). They have an amazing exhibit going on right now called “Reinventing Nature: Art from the School of Fountainebleau.” The NOMA website describes the exhibit like this: “In the nineteenth century, French artists created prints, drawings, oil sketches, photographs, and paintings of the forest that challenged traditional conceptions of landscape depiction. This exhibition reconsiders the role of those works of art in the reinvention of nature in the Forest of Fontainebleau.” I NEED to see this before I graduate! I’ve been here for almost four years, and it’s time.

What have you always wanted to do in New Orleans but haven’t gotten around to it yet?

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