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Portrait of a creative space: Anastasia Pelias

I lived on Magazine Street in the 1990’s. It was a bit sketchy back then, but you could tell it had plenty of potential. I referred to it as “The Street of Dreams.” From the Quarter all the way to the levee, for more than five miles, anything was possible. There was no shortage of inspiration…

One of the many artists who found her muse on Magazine Street was Anastasia Pelias. Her father bought a house on the lakeside of the street in 1980. While he translated the ancient Greek poet, Pindar, she painted in a small room in the back.

Eventually, Anastasia converted the entire first floor into a proper studio. Three large rooms are filled with half-finished canvases, tubes of paint, works by her two children, books on Greek mythology, photographs, postcards and poems. When I was there, Anastasia was working on a series inspired by the music of female vocalists, women like Billy Holiday, Amy Winehouse and Adele. She was painting and the music was blaring. “The people on Magazine don’t seem to mind,” she said. Such is life on The Street of Dreams.

Anastasia is represented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery. She has a solo exhibition opening January 7, 2017. To learn more about the artist, go to http://anastasiapelias.com.

 

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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 [email protected].