So what has white linen got to do with August and art?
Well, back before air conditioning, one of the few ways you could really even attempt to stay cool during the summer months, in a subtropical zone like the Gulf Coast, was to don white linen, which reflects the sun’s harsher rays and breathes … a bit. Surely you can picture the stereotypical Southern gentleman in his white suite – Colonel Sanders, for example.
Anyway, once climate control became something you could rely on to help you stay cool, the days of the white linen suit and dress in Southern life began to wane.
So, again, what the heck has this got to do with art?
Well, when the Warehouse Arts District of New Orleans – also referred to as the “Soho of the South” – was converted from neglected warehouses into lofts, condominiums, and lots of art galleries in the late 80’s, the owners of said art galleries realized they needed something to promote their newly refurbished area. One group, primarily on Julia Street, came up with what turned out to be a brilliant idea: reviving the old summertime white linen tradition as a sort of promotion for a block-wide set of gallery openings.
The first White Linen Night was held in 1994 and the now traditional event has only grown in popularity and attendance – and why not? Whitney White Linen Night is a three-hour block party of gallery openings complete with good food, drinks, music, and free admission – you don’t even have to wear white to attend (but really, you oughta).
After the galleries close their doors, the annual White Linen Night party, held at the nearby Contemporary Arts Center, begins. Expect more live music, refreshments, and more art on display. The do charge admission for this after party but what a great opportunity to extend the fun!
And the story only gets better.
Not to be outdone, the Royal Street galleries and shops in the Warehouse Arts District established their own answer to White Linen Night: Dirty Linen Night – we’ll have more on that next post!
Whitney White Linen Night
Saturday August 2nd, 2014
300 to 600 blocks of Julia Street
For more information, a list of participating galleries in the Warehouse Arts District, and tickets for the after party at the Contemporary Arts Center, please visit: cacno.org/wwln
New Orleans Lodging for White Linen Night
Where better to call your N’awlins home base than a locally owned and operated New Orleans Bed and Breakfast Inn? Trust us to keep you comfortable, fed, and headed in the right direction for all the best parts of the Big Easy – we know New Orleans because we live here – and we can help you feel like you do, too!