New South Style #5: NOLA- Where to Find Creative Inspiration When You Are Burnt Out

A recurring topic that creative types are buzzing about is where they go to recharge their creativity when the stresses of the regular world weigh them down.  Here is a list of my current favorite places to go in New Orleans when I need creative inspiration.

The New Orleans Museum of Art – NOMA

Since a very young age, I have had a love of art museums, so much so, that I continue to seek them out in any city that I visit.  In New Orleans, the iconic NOMA is located in the middle of City Park, which also makes for great scenery in addition to the artistic inspiration that lives within this museum.

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NOMA is one of my favorite art museums not only because I am so familiar with it but also because of the largeness of its collections, which regularly rotate in and out of the galleries.  Inside, you will find a vast collection of pieces, including a wealth of traditional Renaissance art as well as a few surprises that you will come across as you explore the museum.

There is an extensive collection of modern art, including several Warhol and Banksy pieces. There is also a specific floor that is mostly reserved for exhibiting early arts from Native Americans, Africa, and Asia.  The gallery in which I spend most of my time, houses decorative arts ranging from lavish furniture to delicately painted ceramics.

A helpful tip- Every Wednesday, the museum admission is free to local residents with your Louisiana driver’s license or ID!


The American Aquatic Gardens

This little gem, open seven days a week, is nestled along Elysian Fields. The American Aquatic Gardens’ specialty is water lilies and other interesting water plants, ponds, and fountains.  In order to best show their wares, the outside nursery is set up for you to feel like you are walking through a garden filled with ponds and flowing fountains.

Photo credit – Jeanne Taber Tompkins

There are gorgeous water lilies and other plants you may have never seen before. There is also a fabulously curated gift shop filled with wonders. Rarely do I need anything more than beauty when I go here but I almost never leave empty-handed.

The New Orleans Glassworks Studio

The New Orleans Glassworks Studio is one of my favorite places in the world!  This studio is a working glass and metal studio that has a gallery with windows facing Magazine Street.  It is beautiful to walk by and even better to pop in for a visit. Any day you stop by, there are real artists working on real projects in the studio area. At no charge, guests are invited to sit in a row of plastic lawn chairs opposite the artists and watch as these artists bring their masterful glass art to life.

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In addition to the open studio, the gallery sells glass art work and vessels from both local and international artists.  If your interest has really peaked, you can even sign up to do a workshop and learn some of the glass artmaking techniques. Every day is a different adventure here and it is such a privilege for me to have such a place in walking distance of my office!

There isn’t always time to stop for a break in the hustle but you can always take the longer route to your destination and in a beautiful city like New Orleans, this might just provide you with the amazing sight that you need to be inspired.