A portrait of a creative space: George Dunbar
George Dunbar is represented by Callan Contemporary on Julia Street. The New Orleans Museum of Art is having a major retrospective of Dunbar’s work, opening this weekend (November 4 - February 19). To learn more about the artist, go to http://www.georgedunbar.com.
George Dunbar (who happens to be my dad) has been showing art in the city since the 1950’s. Over the years, he dreamed up his ideal studio. In the 1990’s, he finally had an opportunity to build it. It’s a metal-framed building with high ceilings and a concrete floor. It has tremendous windows and numerous skylights to allow in natural light. The studio has plenty of storage for tools, materials, paintings and sculptures. It also has a loft apartment, just in case inspiration strikes late. It matches his nearby house, and it blends in with the surrounding property. It overlooks the bayou and acres and acres of pristine, ever-changing marsh and swamp.
My dad was preparing for an October show when Katrina hit in 2006. The storm tore his studio in half and washed out most of his work. It also devastated his house and the property. He was 78 at the time.
When he returned to the property and saw the ruins, he defiantly said, “I can bring it back!”
And he did! He’s probably in his studio now working on a new piece…
Folwell Dunbar is a New Orleans educator, artist and survivor of many things, from roaches to German U-boats and heartbreak. He is putting together a collection of these short stories and survival tales called He Falls Well (his name is pronounced “fall well”). NolaVie is honored to preview some of those stories here. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.