New Orleans’ French Quarter art galleries are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, as so many other businesses are. Most have closed their doors for now, as the trickle of people still out and around cannot drive a single sale.
It remains to be see which ones will survive this ordeal. The New Orleans art world has been rocked from top to bottom. Not just the French Quarter art galleries, of course, but also the artists themselves, many of whom do not have the savings to get them through a time such as this. (Many people believe that artists make a good living; in fact, very few do, even good ones.)
In New Orleans we love our artists and the New Orleans art community. It adds a vital flavor to the city. After Katrina, there was an influx of new blood to the New Orleans art scene. Many of these artists set up studios and took apartments in the St. Claude area, and other edgy parts of the city where rents are affordable.
Now, without rent forbearance and relief of various kinds, it is likely many of them will have to move “back home,” or in with friends. We hope and pray that we can hold on to as many of them as possible.
French Quarter art galleries look ahead
The galleries are right now in a tough position. The ones that do not have cash reserves are in the same boat as so many businesses right now depending on cash flow whose sources of sales have dried up – restaurants, movie theatres, hairdressers, and so on.
Will their building owners show mercy? Can they afford to? Those building owners have payments to make to their banks. There’s a chain reaction at work here just as in so many areas of American industry right now. European Art Underground and sister site New Orleans Art Exchange fortunate to be an online-only gallery. But please ay a little prayer for the New Orleans artists and the brick-and-mortar galleries that show them!