Hot Night In The City

August 04, 2015
As a French Quarter resident, I’m often asked,
“What’s your favorite French Quarter event?”
I consistently reply, “Dirty Linen Night” in August.
The response is always the same. “It’s so hot in August!”

New Orleans is always hot in August, but this is one hot night in the city that you won’t want to miss. ”“Dirty Linen Night”, Saturday, August 8th, is the French Quarters irreverent answer to the Central Business District’s (CBD) “White Linen Night”, where everyone wears crisp white linen and tours the art galleries of the CBD. The following weekend, it’s our turn. In grand French Quarter style, we dial our party up a notch with our French Quarter attitude and free flowing libations.

We say, “Wear the same outfit, no need to dirty another one.”

“Dirty Linen Night” consumes Royal Street, from the 300 block to the 900 block. Starting at 6PM and continues till 10 PM, this block party has everything; food, wine, music and great art. Check out all the details of the evening at

Over fifty galleries participate, so allow me to offer a little guidance. Here’s my, “Must See” list. We’ll start in the Upper Quarter in the 300 block of Royal, and work our way down to the food trucks, stationed in the parking lot of the KIPP McDonogh-15 School, at Royal and St. Philip Streets.

The first stop is 312 Royal Street at the Caliche and Pao Gallery. The husband and wife team of Caliche and Pao, have been a part of the New Orleans art scene since 2002, opening their own gallery in 2009. They are the only artists featured in the gallery. It seems like just yesterday they were waiting tables at night and painting in Jackson Square during the day. With roots from Uruguay and Colombia, they are a prime example of an American success story.

Looking through the windows from the street, the rich, vibrant South American influenced hues will draw you in (no pun intended). The gallery has an easy flow to it. It truly reflects the energy of the art. This rectangular shaped showroom has approximately 50 or so paintings on display. The couple have recently purchased a building in the same block and hope to be expanding soon.

Caliche and Pao have a whimsical style of impressionism. Their energetic paintings induce the movements of the art. No brush strokes here, they only use palette knives to create their art. The oil paints they use, are a kaleidoscope of colors. Pao uses layers and layers of paint to add depth to the accents in her works. Caliche is the master of movement. Known around the world for his musical lampposts, his work is highly sought after. Their art is truly a celebration of life in New Orleans. WWW.CALICHEANDPAO.COM

A block away is the Martin Lawrence Gallery.(433 Royal Street.). This gallery is very unassuming from the outside; so don’t let the narrow entrance fool you. Once you’ve entered you will go into sensory overload. The Martin Lawrence Gallery has over 4000 square feet and approximately three hundred works of art on display.

You will be greeted by respectful, courteous, and knowledgeable sales associates, that are there to help. They can answer any question, even the novice buyer will feel comfortable browsing here.

This is definitely a collector’s paradise, with over forty artists represented. It’s a diverse collection of modern masters, from Chagall to Dali, and Warhol to new and emerging artists like Liudmila Kondakova and Francois Fressinier. There is also an extraordinary display of three-dimensional art as well. They often loan their collections to museums in the United States and abroad, including Japan, Denmark, France and more.

The gallery hosts several events throughout the year. Besides celebrating Dirty Linen Night, the gallery will host their “Fall Auction Preview Party” at the end of August. Be sure and check out their website. I must say, their web site is extremely informative and easy to use. If you want to be on their mailing list for upcoming events, make sure you register online or at the gallery.


Continuing on, Maison Royale, (501 Royal Street) is located directly across the street from the Omni Royal Hotel. This boutique gallery has a selective assemblage of post-impressionism paintings by an exclusive roster of European artists. Mostly from France and Russia. The curator of the art gallery will be able to assist and accommodate the most discrete buyer.

Maison Royale, also has an exquisite jewelry collection. Their collection includes handcrafted rings, bracelets and necklaces with the most opulent diamonds and finest precious jewels.

In the same block, Sutton Galleries, (519 Royal Street) is celebrating its 100th year in business, having been dealing in fine art since 1915. They are a fourth generation gallery family. Sutton Galleries exhibits approximately fifteen artists at any given time.

Large pane windows with brightly illuminated paintings on display, will make you want to explore all the works in this lovely two story gallery. Once inside, you will be astonished by the variety and intriguing work of art. Sutton Galleries is always on the lookout for thought-provoking art and artists that use interesting techniques.

There are several pieces by Mary Hong of Florida on display. She has mastered working with anything glass, even shard glass, using a non-traditional technique and resin. This technique gives a levitating effect and invokes a feeling that the subject matter is floating over the canvas.

Dean Gioia, another artist, is known for his ethereal landscapes. Gioia’s career expands over three decades and has shown in over 1000 public and private collections.

They also represent Isabelle Dupuy, a native of France. Isabelle is an impressionist whose work is in high demand. She has a distinct method of bringing her art to life, with layering striking colors in ways that not only add intensity, but also provides a three dimensional effect.

Isabelle will be in New Orleans, painting on location this Fall. Visit the Sutton Galleries website for more artist information and details on their upcoming 100th anniversary celebration, slated for October. Sign the guest book to receive notices on all future events.


Now to, the Tanner Gallery (830 Royal Street). Tanner Gallery opened its doors on March 1st, 2010.

You will be lured in, by the ghostly shade of white walls, mixed by Tanner himself by adding just a touch of lavender and a hint of black. The Gallery consists of three spacious rooms with French doors that open to a private courtyard. The gallery and it’s architectural style and high ceilings, has a somewhat regal feel. The intriguing artwork created by Tanner, will make you want to linger for hours.

His infatuation with trees, stems from the comforts of his childhood memories. Raised in in the small town of Semmes, in southern Alabama, he remembers the calming effect the trees had on him as a child. He has managed to share this comforting feeling with the world through his art. The sharp contrast of the trees against the vivid and sometimes haunting skies provides a strong impact for the viewer.

You will often find Tanner at work in the gallery; he enjoys the company of tourists and locals who stop by. He is usually accompanied by his trusted canine companion Loretta, who you might find snoozing in one of the hollow fireplaces, on her bed.

Tanner Gallery sells original paintings and giclees in a variety of sizes, there are approximately seventy works on display. Tanner also does commissions.

Tanner started twelve years ago selling his art in Jackson Square. Staying true to himself and his beliefs he has become the One to Watch.


Last but not least, on my “Must See” list, is the Craig Tracy’s Fine-Art Bodypainting Gallery (827 Royal Street). Artist Craig Tracy opened his captivating gallery in 2006. The gallery is the first body-painting art gallery in the world. He creates marvelous works of art using the human body as his canvas. You often have to look to find the body in the picture.

As you’re strolling down Royal, this gallery will be easy to spot. It’s not unusual to see a line outside on Dirty Linen Night. Craig Tracy, is a “home grown” success story.

The moment you set foot into the gallery, you will be instantly aware of a plethora of activity going on, represented by videos, books, photographs and prints, as is the life of Craig Tracy. He’s one of the most sought after body-painting artists in the world. He’s also a celebrity judge on the television show Skin Wars, now in its second season. He has also been featured on television and many magazines. His art has been used in television commercials as well. Multifaceted doesn’t begin to describe Craig Tracy.

Oh yeah, about that line outside the door. Craig Tracy is in the house! Twice a year, Dirty Linen Night and the Royal Street Stroll, the public is welcome to watch Craig create another masterpiece, painting a live model at the gallery. Reservations are required (seating is free but limited). This is an exhibition you won’t want to miss. For this event, call ahead or email. Don’t forget to “Like” Craig Tracy Gallery on Facebook.


That about wraps up my “must see” list of galleries, it’s time to add some of your own. By this time of the evening you will be getting to the 900 block of Royal St. The sun will have set, and hopefully a gentle breeze will start to relieve the heat. There are more galleries to explore and the food trucks are calling your name.

I hope you will find that “Dirty Linen Night” can make a hot night in the city, quite special. Who knows? Maybe this will become your favorite French Quarter event.