Exit Stage Right: Zack Smith's Festival Portraits will now be the newest exhibit at The New Orleans Jazz Museum on December 3!
Zack Smith, an artist of both music and photography, is an individual who thinks big—better yet, he sees the bigger picture! His work consists of primarily large-format film photographs, and they bring the work and the one viewing it closer together. His portraits include the late ChazFest in the Ninth Ward, HIP Fest, Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, the Ponderosa Stomp, and the Voodoo Music & Arts Experience. If you were to actually view the photos right now, you would see that Smith captures the musicians, the fans thereof, backstage life, and people who may seem to be off in their own little world in the midst of festival chaos.
Zack Smith and David Kunian, Jazz Museum Curator, brought the exhibit to fruition. "I've been seeing Zack Smith in many contexts for a couple decades," Kunian said. "These photographs show a mix of respect and irreverence. They show the people and musicians of a past festival world that has faded, but also the vibrancy of festivals today as they hint at the shape of future gatherings."
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, much focus has shifted among businesses. The New Orleans Jazz Museum's mission was to support local musicians and culture bearers who make up the city's beloved creative community. New Orleans Jazz Museum Director Greg Lambousy said, "Zack Smith has been documenting the scene for more than 20 years. As we look towards the future, it is important to appreciate the people and places that make New Orleans unique. Zack's photographs capture the feeling of freedom that many of us have come to miss and hope to reclaim."
The Exit Stage Right exhibit will open on December 3, around the same time of the Sound Collage, an event that takes place every year celebrating the merge of visual art and music. This event offers musical performances, lightsome fixtures, electronic-like sculptures, and an overall good time.
"We are excited to see the city of New Orleans recovering and beginning to thrive," Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser said in a press release. "Preserving and documenting the city's culture is vital to its survival. We are proud to see the New Orleans Jazz Museum working to educate a new generation of musicians about the city's rich artistic legacy."