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A portrait of a creative space: Shawn Hall's studio

Shawn Hall’s house is across the street from a coffee shop. Being a busy artist, that’s a good thing!

Shawn has been creating art in the city for more than 20 years. Like many NOLA artists, she bounced around looking for an ideal studio. Then, she eventually found the perfect space in an unexpected place, her own backyard. Her Bywater home was attached to the cloistered remains of an antebellum bakery. In 2006, the winds of Hurricane Katrina took out the ruins and left a blank canvas for a creative space.

According to Hall, the space is “not quite as big as I might like, but it’s lovely and efficient. It has a lot of storage, including a large hidden closet, enough wall space for me to work on, and amazing, amazing light!”

Shawn installed a polycarbonate roof. It allows in 45 percent of the light and filters out almost all of the damaging UV rays.

“It’s like I work outside without the climate or bugs,” she said. “And, of course, there’s a coffee shop across the street…”

Shawn Hall;s studio (Photo collage by Folwell Dunbar)

Shawn Hall's studio (Photo collage by Folwell Dunbar)

Shawn Hall is represented in New Orleans by Cole Pratt Gallery on Magazine Street. You can learn more about the artist and her work at http://www.shawnhall.org.




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 fldunbar@me.com.