A New Face for the Game

February 05, 2019
Makeovers are one of my favorite things. Even when we don’t need them, they provide us with the opportunity to see just how far we can push ourselves and our achievements. I have had blue hair, I have had red hair, I have had no hair; each time I reinvented myself, my own confidence grew knowing that I was one step closer to finding the me that was the best.

Artist Emilie Rhys has recently transformed her French Quarter gallery into a new and exciting show place for some of the city’s most important and influential artwork.

Launching on to the gallery scene just a few years ago at 708 Toulouse Street, Rhys brought a celebration to the French Quarter gallery business with her courtyard storefront, Scene By Rhys. Her artistic roots traveling deep into the French Quarter art arena, Emilie Rhys is a third-generation artist who captures not only the musicians of New Orleans but also moments in time as they perform in venues across the city. Working “live” during a musician’ performance, Rhys creates a snapshot of the moment, going beyond simply the musicians’ portraits. The audience becomes part of the process as does the energy and the ambiance of the venue.

Emilie is not an accidental artist. The daughter of Preservation Hall painter Noel Rockmore, she takes a far brighter approach to art than her father. Using fountain pens (teal and walnut are her preferred colors), she creates images that offer us a different view of the musician and the event. Light, textural strokes, from crosshatching to smudging, create layers of perspective that change with each viewing. Unlike some other “live” art productions, the beauty of Rhys’ work is that the musicians in her work are recognizable in a style that is clean and fresh and a celebration of its subject matter rather than the artist creating it. Other techniques include adding water to the ink to create a wash and the incorporation of colorful gouache paint to her work.

Recently New Orleans Jazz Museum and Emilie have settled on the opening date of Emilie’s long-planned exhibition there with her dad, Noel Rockmore. The opening of the exhibit will be on Thursday January 30th, 2020 and will be up for a year. This will be a substantial showing to tell the story of three generations of art, of her grandparents Gladys Rockmore Davis and Floyd Davis, her father, and Emilie, through the perspective of portraying performers in action. For Emilie and her father, the focus will be on music in New Orleans.

The gallery’s courtyard has always played a big part in the fame of this location, but now the new walls and the overhaul that Rhys and her team have brought to the place has you not wanting to, but needing to, venture beyond the sweet French quarter courtyard and explore into the gallery itself. It calls out to visitors and makes a bold statement not only about what an artist can do with perseverance and time, but what they can do with strength, talent, and a good team. Rhys has been one to watch, and now is THE ONE to watch. She exemplifies New Orleans and offers a bit of all of us in this city to the rest of the world.

A new face in the game has become a new face for the game and Emilie Rhys is front and center to be the star player amongst New Orleans’ artists.