St. Louis and New Orleans have many issues of common concern and are physically linked by the mighty Mississippi River. The River Between Us, will showcase works that reflect how the lives of people in both communities have always been intertwined with the river’s role in US history.
The exhibit is the second collaboration between Laumeier and Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans. Marilu Knode, Laumeier’s executive director said, “this is the first time the connections between our two cities have been explored through the visual arts. We’re excitied to expose Laumeier and Longue Vue guests to the artists’ interpretations of the social evolution of St. Louis and New Orleans.”
The River Between Uswill be the fourth in a series of projects Laumeier has organized around the rubric “archaeology of place.” Laumeier’s 105 acres, Longue Vue’s eight acres and Estate Homes at both sites provide unique backdrops to works that focus on the history of land usage. Theexhibition will feature commissions by artists, inspired by the two locations, and historical documents culled from local institutions. Some of the commissioned works will travel to New Orleans in the fall, opening at Longue Vue in September and closing February 2014.
While there are many cities that have grown along the Mississippi, St. Louis and New Orleans are linked through trade and social and cultural exchange dating from the pre-historic Mississippian cultures to today. The series of indoor and outdoor commissioned works responds to the past as the past impacts the future.
Probably because of my own work, I felt more connected to Mel Watkin’s work…especially the work with the maps but not the entire installation. Plus, she is using the same types of maps (Mississippi Navigation Maps that are from the US Army Corps of Engineers) but my versions are a bit older. Of course, our work is quite different but I love when I see work that is similar but taken in a different direction.