Nola Life Stories

The Torch Lady: A Silver Screen Icon, Reborn In The Quarter

Jul 19, 2019
The Historic New Orleans Collection

Artist Michael Deas has been bringing illustrations and paintings to life in his French Quarter studio for decades. His work has graced book covers, ad campaigns, and the big screen at movie theaters around the world. Mr. Deas reflects on his artistic career and one particular painting in this edition of NOLA Life Stories.

Scott Stuntz

The Big Easy Rollergirls have been skating around New Orleans since 2004. Thanks to a few fiercely loyal founding members, the team survived the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to become one of the most prominent derby organizations in the country. Sally Asher was one of those founding members. In this edition of NOLA Life Stories, Sally chronicles her path to becoming a Big Easy Rollergirl, starting with her earliest athletic memories. 

Found Objects, Lost Lives And The Powerful Art of Mitchell Gaudet

May 17, 2019
Mary Rickard

Artist Mitchell Gaudet is known around New Orleans for several things, not the least of which is the dazzling glasswork he’s created at Studio Inferno since 1992. Perhaps a lesser known fact about Mr. Gaudet is that he’s a veteran who was on active duty during Operation Desert Storm. His unique view of the world through the lens of an artist and a veteran led him to confront the issue of gun violence in New Orleans. In this edition of NOLA Life Stories, Mr. Gaudet describes this arc of his artistic career.

Historic New Orleans Collection

When Sal Impastato handed over the keys of the Napoleon House this past spring, it was an emotional moment.

Selling the business to restauranteur Ralph Brennan had been a difficult decision because the building had been in Sal’s family for generations – first as a grocery, then as a bar.

As a young child without reference, the crowds of protesters awaiting Leona Tate at McDonogh 19 in the Lower 9th Ward sounded like a boisterous Mardi Gras parade.
Historic New Orleans Collection

When the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that separate black and white schools were unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education, it seemed desegregation was close at hand. But it took six years before the New Orleans school system was integrated. In the fall of 1960, Leona Tate — then only 6 years old — was one of four young black girls escorted through a crowd of protestors.