Dig Baton Rouge

P.3+ in BR

By Tara Bennett

Currently one of the most exciting developments for Baton Rouge and its visual arts scene is being selected as a satellite location for Prospect.3 New Orleans.

Prospect.3 New Orleans: Notes for Now is the third edition of the international contemporary art biennial, which will take place from October 25 to January 25.

Originating in New Orleans, this biennial showcases the work of more than 50 local, national and international contemporary artists. As part of its mission to support the local arts community, Prospect.3 New Orleans has implemented a satellite program, called P.3+, which highlights concurrent exhibitions and art events throughout the course of the biennial. P.3+ Regional furthers that mission this year by including regional sites in Baton Rouge, Hammond and Lafayette.

“I think it’s going to be a really good connection to bridge our city with New Orleans, and it’s certainly something we want to build on, and keep the river flowing between us, so to speak,” said Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge President Eric Holowacz. “We want to keep the creative energy shared between the two cities. I think this is a good start in that direction.”
The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, together with art collectives Elevator Projects and The Walls Project, have been collaborating with local partners in order to showcase the Capitol City’s art scene and create a large, city-wide experience. Dubbed P.3+BR Notes Upriver, the event will feature special exhibitions, temporary installations, film, new media and programming partnerships with over 15 venues throughout Baton Rouge.

“We’re making some really significant strides in presenting and featuring contemporary art in Baton Rouge that is locally rooted and giving it that platform to shine,” said Raina Wirta, the creative director of Elevator Projects. “It’s been a really exciting undertaking for sure. I know a lot of people are going to jump on board the train and get excited about what’s happening in Baton Rouge because there’s a lot going on.”

A main project for P.3+ is the listing of all the artists and venues that they are concurrently exhibiting during Prospect to include them in the program for P.3+, and working with other art galleries and museums in Baton Rouge to find alternative gallery spaces to host special projects or exhibitions. Currently, Wirta is organizing exhibitions within unused commercial space in the Chase Towers building, which will be filled with visual and contemporary art.

“This aspect really closely resembles the nature of a biennial because it is all about bringing in contemporary artists and highlights a lot of national and world renowned artists into the city,” said Wirta.

Participating in P.3+BR are the Arts Council’s Firehouse Gallery, Louisiana Art & Science Museum, LSU Museum of Art, Shaw Center for the Arts, Baton Rouge Gallery, Lagniappe Records, along with Kelli Scott Kelly, John Gray, LSU School of Dance, the Creative Co. and the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana.

“It’s great that our community has rallied around the idea of being part of Prospect,” said Holowacz. “This is a great way to create visual art opportunities around the identity of our town.”

Official P.3+ events include:

Oct. 4

Art in Action: Inflate, Draw, Pour

This exhibit at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum is one of the first exhibitions for P.3+BR, which focuses on how three artists uniquely create their work.

Oct. 17

Anja Marais at the Firehouse Gallery

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge will present The Ballast, a solo exhibition featuring South African artist Anja Marais. The exhibit will focus on her video, sculpture, and installation works that revolve around the experience of change. The exhibition will be on display from Oct. 17 to Dec. 12 with an opening reception on Oct. 17 from 5-8 p.m.

Oct. 29

ART21 at Lagniappe Records

Lagniappe Records will be partnering with Elevator Projects to host a four-part video series ART21 for P.3+BR. The first installation of the series will be the season 7 premiere of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Nov. 15

P.3+BR Opening Reception

An opening reception will be held Nov. 15 at the Walls Project’s Art and Design Center and within the Chase Towers. The center will present 12 hours of cultural programming including contemporary dance organized by LSU School of Dance and the Creative Co., digital orchestrations by the Laptop Orchestra of Louisiana, creative writing workshops, poetry readings, live music, artist talks and performance art. Along with the opening reception will be a planned walking tour of downtown Baton Rouge. For the opening reception, all museums and galleries participating in P.3+BR will be free and open to the public.

Jan. 25

P.3+BR Closing Reception

The events will come to an official end on Jan. 25 with a closing reception as part of the Baton Rouge Gallery’s Surreal Salon Soiree.

Stay tuned for more P.3+BR news as a full list of venues, events and exhibitions will be released in the coming weeks. To find out more about Prospect.3 visit prospectneworleans.org.

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