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Farewell to an art extravaganza

Editor's Note: Prospect.3 Plus offers more than 60 local art installations and events taking place alongside the international Bienennial Prospect.3. NolaVie and its cultural partner, WWNO public radio, are taking a look at some of them in a series to run during the exhibition, which continues through Jan. 25.

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Thirteen weeks ago, at the end of almost of three years of planning, Prospect.3: Notes For Now, the citywide art biennial, began its run in New Orleans. Now it’s coming up to its last weekend and the Prospect.3 folk have decided to go out with a bang. So they have organized a long weekend to highlight, one last time, the hundreds of world-class artworks by 58 international artists in 18 venues around this city.

“What we decided to do was to create a P.3 passport,” Executive Director Brooke Anderson says. “It’s the size of a real U.S. passport with a cover that is in that real navy color.”

And just like a real U.S. passport, the idea is to get all the P.3 stamps in it, keep it as a souvenir, and get a gift at the end of the journey. To get the gift, Brooke says, you have to go to all the P.3 venues, view the art and get a stamp in the passport.

“Once you’ve filled up your passport,” Brooke explains, “you bring it back to us at our hub at the Contemporary Arts Center and we’ll give you a free T-shirt or a tote bag.”

Brooke, a museum professional for more than 25 years, has long been accomplished about dealing with major art works, and the logistics and aesthetics required to place them appropriately, in any number of galleries in any number of institutions. The Prospect.3 challenge was different; it was how best to administer an exhibition that is scattered across an entire city.

“If you have a glitch in a museum, you go upstairs from your office and you go to the gallery that needs fixing or some kind of tending,” Brooke explains. “If our project needs tending, we have to drive all over town. It’s kind of like the city becomes the museum.”

That’s a notion Brooke says she really likes. And that’s a good thing, because she has been invited back to be Executive Director of Prospect.4. Unlike its predecessors, P.1, P.2 and P.3 -- all biennials (every two years), at least in name -- P.4 will begin the tradition of formally becoming a triennial (every three years) starting in the fall of 2017.

“This is exciting for us because it means that we can participate in the tricentennial [of New Orleans] because we’ll go through and into 2018,” Brooke says.

Brooke will continue being a monthly almost-resident visitor to New Orleans, racking up frequent flyer miles as she commutes between New York and the Crescent City. She’s very excited about that, too.

For more information about the below-named venues and for all of the closing P.3 celebrations, visit prospectneworleans.org.

Participating venues: Contemporary Art Center, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art; New Orleans Museum of Art; Ashe Cultural Arts Center; Newcomb Art Gallery; The George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art; Isaac Delgado Art Gallery; Joan Mitchell Center Studios; UNO St. Claude Gallery; Dillard University; Xavier University; AIA New Orleans; The Exchange Gallery; New Orleans African American Museum; Longue Vue House and Gardens; May Gallery and Residency; Treme Market Branch; City Park

This series on Prospect 3 Plus artworks is made possible by a generous grant from the lawyers of the Lugenbuhl firm, with offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Houston, in support of art in the Gulf South.

Sharon Litwin is president of NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]