During the summer of 2005, New Orleans resident Anne Gisleson and her friends were in the midst of developing Intersection New Orleans, a collaboration that encouraged 25 pairs of artists and writers to find inspiration in 25 intersections throughout the city. After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city, Gisleson and her friends were determined to regroup and continue providing a cultural refuge for locals.
“It was just kind of an imperative need to start doing things after the storm, because nothing was happening culturally, for obvious reasons,” Gisleson says.
The informal art shows and literary events that the group hosted in the months after the storm led to the formation of Press-Street later that year. In 2008, Gisleson and her partners opened Antenna, a gallery space on St. Claude Street in the city’s Upper Ninth Ward. Their intent with Antenna was to create a place that would support and inspire the local creative community by focusing on cutting-edge contemporary art.
“It’s a space where the commercial end is taken out of the equation,” Gisleson says. “It’s a space where people can do the sort of projects that they wouldn’t be able to do in a for-profit gallery, which tends to be a bit safer and market oriented.”