Taking the LoRoad
Monthly LoRoad Art Walk hits Royal Street tomorrow.
Art galleries from outlying neighborhoods are moving to the contemporary art oasis along the quieter stretch of the 800 to 1100 blocks of Royal Street, aka “LoRoad.”
“When people come to visit this end of Royal Street they really love how familiar and intimate it feels,” says Alice McGillicuddy, gallery manager of The Foundation Gallery.
In large part, attracted by constant flow of foot traffic, The Foundation Gallery moved from their Julia Street location in the Warehouse District to 1109 Royal Street. After a complete renovation of the old hairdressing salon, they reopened their doors in July.
“Julia Street has more traditional exhibition spaces, lower emphasis on retail, lower emphasis on affordability,” says Lila Heymann, gallery director for The Foundation Gallery. “Julia Street is a lovely place to reside but it is not as good for commerce as it is down here.”
Even with huge crowd pullers like, Art for Arts’ Sake, it is not enough.
“The party schedule is more set in stone, they will have a couple of different art festivals here and there and thousands of people will flock there, but here we like the constant flow of traffic,” Heymann says.
The Foundation Gallery reports that approximately 60 percent of their sales comes from foot traffic.
“The story of upper Royal is that it is more antique, high end, very expensive – it was a very lucrative place to be, and then it would just stop,” says Heymann. “Retail tourism is changing, people aren’t just going to that part of the Quarter to buy anymore.”
With more tourists branching out to the neighboring Frenchman Street and Marigny area, McGillicuddy and other galleries along the LoRoad stretch have initiated the monthly “Art Walk on Lower Royal”, where 15 galleries along lower Royal Street keep their doors open until 10 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.
“We donate 25 percent of all of our proceeds which means we like to have lots of events and fundraising – down here we are not competing with interior design driven places, we are more in-line with a lot of the galleries that are cropping up here on Royal,” says McGillicuddy.
The general public can meander among the local art community in the monthly LoRoad Art Walk this Thursday, December 18 and Thursday, January 15 – open until 10 p.m.
809 Royal – AFA Gallery Nola
811 Royal – Tresor Gallery
813 Royal – Rue Royale Galerie
819 Royal – Gallery Orange
823 Royal – M. Sani Art
830 Royal – Tanner Gallery and Studio
840 Royal – Lucky Rose Gallery
841 Royal – Douglas Michael Gallery
906 Royal – Gallery M Contemporary
910 Royal – La Madama Bazarre
927 Royal – Antieau Gallery
936 Royal – Graphite Gallery
938 Royal – Red Truck Gallery
1036 Royal- Shop Nadine Blake
1109 Royal- The Foundation Gallery