By: John R Kemp || November 2, 2017

New Orleans is a city that celebrates creative souls and its place in the American psyche. It revels in its own history, real and imagined, and thinks of itself as a place like none other in North America. The existentialist novelist Walker Percy once described the city, his adopted hometown, as an island “cut adrift not only from the South but from the rest of Louisiana, somewhat like Mont Saint-Michel awash at high tide.”

Percy’s New Orleans, with its graceful patina of age, cultural history, architecture and almost smothering humid floral landscape, is a natural open-air art gallery. With that in mind, Prospect New Orleans has launched this year’s international contemporary art triennial “Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp.”

The citywide art show, which runs November 18 to February 25 and is free to the public, explores the city’s creative spirit in the visual and performing arts and its historical connections to Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. Billed as one the nation’s largest triennial art exhibitions, Prospect.4 features artwork by 73 local, national and international artists from 25 countries in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe. New Orleans-area artists included in the Prospect.4 line up are Wayne Gonzales, Darryl Montana, Jennifer Odem, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, John T. Scott, Michel Varisco, Monique Verdin, and jazz legend Louis Armstrong. Yes, in addition to blowing a mean horn, Armstrong was also a talented visual artist.

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