Thursday, April 12, 2018

2018 Arcana Workshop New Orleans Day Four and Five

Arcana – A Tale of Tarot Workshop

January 20-27, 2018

Tuesday, January 23

Today we decided to return to the Conti for breakfast so that we can just run upstairs to the workshop when we are done.  Our breakfast party consisted of me, Kelley, Lynn and Cris.

The workshop ran only from 9:30 to 12:30 today and Michael provided his list of creative color combinations to go with our tarot theme: 
Dark Moon Rising
Death's Grim Grip
Devil's Pants on Fire
Emperor's Rouge Clothes
Fool's Gold
Herman Hermit's Cave
High Priestess Blue
Kissy Face Lovers
Very Empressive Green
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeel of Fortune

Big Mike and Joyce picked up the group at 12:45 and transported us into the Bywater area for lunch at Elizabeth’s.  

Katherine Engen on guard at the door

I took the Po' Boy Catfish sandwich with a side of potato salad and it was great.

  Lynn, Joanne and me (photo by Katherine Engen)

By 2:00 p.m. we had been transported to the Music Box Village.  

The Music Box Village is created and built by New Orleans Airlift, a nonprofit arts organization, as one of a range of large-scale community art projects.  The Village is a collection of musical house meaning they are houses that can be played like musical instruments.  When we got there, after a brief introduction, five local musicians played the houses. 

To get an idea of what this was like, click on this link to K. D. Duncan's video of the concert:

Not only did this provide our group an improvised symphony of percussion but we got an understanding of how the houses work because we also got a chance to play the houses later. 

Photo by K. D. Duncan

Kelley Clarke plays the telephone booth

DJ Assemblage rocks the house

After we got transported back to the hotel by 4:00 p.m., I wandered over to the workshop to get a little work done on my projects.

At 6:00 p.m. Big Mike and Joyce transported us to Magazine Street to Studio Flux of jewelry artist Thomas Mann

A Michael deMeng version of Thomas Mann, gifted a few years ago but still in a prominent place

Tom and his staff sold us some jewelry.

Tom gave a talk about his recent experiences as a jewelry maker and seller and how he is going to have to re-invent himself again even though he is in his 70s. 

Tom with some of his latest art efforts

We were offered the opportunity to see where all the magic is done.

Then, being the gourmet cook that he is, he served us special hot dogs on the roof of his store under the moonlight of NOLA. 

After we got back to our sleeping hotel some of us grabbed us light food in Vacherie before heading out to the 10:00 p.m. show at Preservation Hall.  We all got Big Shot tickets which meant we got seats, mine being in the front row.  The group that went included me, Marilyn and John, Kristen, Cris, Kat, Deborah, Kelley, Lynn, Sharon and Karen.

Outside Preservation Hall with Kristen and Lynn (photo by Cris Smith)

The band we saw was the Preservation All-Stars led by Will Smith.  The show was great.  The highlight was when Kat asked the band to play a tear jerker and the trombonist took the lead, singing a song to the woman he is separated from, which brought down the house.

I was back to the hotel by 11:30 p.m. and ready to hit the hay. 

Wednesday, January 24

Today was a free day for all the workshop attendees.

I started off my walking to Canal Street for breakfast at The Ruby Slipper with Marilyn, John, Cris, Kelley and Lynn.

We then walked up Canal to Royal Street which we walked from that end to Graphite Gallery.  This stroll through the stores and galleries took from about 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Lunch was at Amelie where I had gumbo for the first time on this trip.

Michael deMeng's art at the Graphite Gallery.

Cris and I walked to the workshop hotel and did about two hours of work on our projects.

Back at the Hotel St. Marie, for the others, it is time to get their costumes on for the 2nd Line Parade.  For me it is time to make sure both my batteries are charged as I am the staff photographer.

Me in my "costume" ready to be Photography Guy

We gathered at 6:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby for costume examination and prom photos.

Here is the workshop description of The Soothsayer’s Shindig – The Second Line Parade experience:  "We dress in costumes that are workshop theme related. This year it is beautiful the Tarot. This isn't mandatory, but it is lots of fun. Our parade is police escorted as we will be walking/dancing through the streets of the French Quarter. Panorama, our brass band will lead the way. This event is an hour. Our route takes about 45 minutes."

Then it is time to hit the streets!

If you have never been the center of attention in a parade, you may not understand how much fun this is.  Now, double that because we are marchin' in the French Quarter, baby!

The Gathering of the Clans

Panorama Brass Band



Dinner tonight is an all-group event at Brennan’s in the Havana Room.  Here is the menu:

First Course:
Endive Salad: Shaved Apple, Blue Cheese, Candied Pecan, Honey Vinaigrette
Oven Roasted Oysters: Four Oysters, Chili Butter, Manchego, Chives

Second Course:
BBQ Shrimp & Grits: Goat Cheese Grits, Creole Spiced Butter Sauce
Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Quatre Epics, Acorn Squash, Collard Greens, Bacon Jus

Third Course:
Praline Leidenheimer Bread Pudding: Rye Whisky Anglaise, Chantilly Cream
Banana’s Foster

On this side of the table was me, Cris and Kaye.  On the other was Stacey and Tina.

I was the oysters, the pork and the foster.  After a short walk back to our hotel, we were down for the count by 10:30 p.m. as tomorrow the workshop will start up again.

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