Nola Studiola is a seasonally collab-curation by rotating artists of all sorts. The goal is to build community by doing what artists do best: explore place, process, and offer the findings in a spirit of generosity. We interview, promote noteworthy projects, try out pilot projects here, and reflect on ongoing or finished ones as well. You’ll find all of this among the curators here, along with talk of food. Because this is, after all, a New Orleans venture. Off or online, we fixate on food.
We start and finish in New Orleans, but as with all community building, we look outside just as much as we look inside, so our curators hail from all parts–not just the Crescent City.
How this came to be.
The First Studiola: In June of 2012, founder and intermittent contributor Alison Barker, aka Ms. Barker, left teaching and gainful employment to start an 8-week “artistic re-calibration” in which she interviewed different artists online and retreated in a friend’s apartment in New Orleans. She was looking for a way to jumpstart her first novel, the third draft burned in a fit of frustration in February of 2012. A friend died, a relationship ended, as did a job and a lease. She was looking for community, but also solitude. She was looking for inspiration, but focus. The prompt for the online blog project: how do artists navigate community and solitude in a generative way? Aside from a dog named Stella, the best stress-relief and source of community seemed to happen around making and eating food. And in southern Louisiana, this foodie found culinary inspiration every which way, often from fellow artists. How do the culinary arts inform process?
The air conditioning was minimal. It was hot in the studiola. It was hot, and for the most part, Ms. Barker was alone. But she comforted herself with digital visits from people like chefs Amanda Hesser and Martha Rose Shulman, novelists Lidia Yuknavitch and Drew Ervin. You can find all of their interviews by clicking on the drop-down menu “Visitors.”
In September 2012, the Nola Studiola returned as Nola Studiola Redux: a Collaborative Curatorial Project in which different thinkers curate a month of the Studiola, and navigate the balancing act of community and solitude in their own unique ways. You can find the dates of their posts under their name in the drop-down menu called “Curators.”
Welcome. We hope you find what you’re looking for.