Client Spotlight: The Helis Foundation
If you’ve ever taken advantage of a free day of admission to one of the wonderful art and cultural institutions around New Orleans, it was most likely due to The Helis Foundation.
Originally founded by the William Helis Family in 1995, this Louisiana-based private foundation offers financial and logistical resources to the greater New Orleans community through grant funding, free admission for Louisiana residents to museums across the area, and underwriting major initiatives and special projects. For example, The Helis Foundation has helped fund the triennial Prospect New Orleans, the Enrique Alferez Sculpture Garden, the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition, Louisiana Contemporary at Ogden Museum of Southern Art and more. By increasing accessibility to the arts, The Helis Foundation supports a vibrant arts community and preserves a legacy of creativity for future generations of visitors and locals alike to enjoy.
This February, The Helis Foundation introduced a new sculpture to the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition, the South’s leading rotating sculpture exhibit centered in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District. Curated by Ogden Museum of Southern Art, this exhibition is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Artist Arlene Shechet’s 10-feet-tall sculpture, Tall Feather, joined the revolving collection between St. Charles Avenue and Camp Street. To learn more about her work, follow PCSE’s Instagram (@poydrascorridor) and Facebook page (@poydrascorridorexhibition) for updates on new sculptures, behind-the-scenes content, local art news and more.
The Helis Foundation also underwrites Unframed, a project of Arts Council New Orleans. Unframed is an ongoing collection of large-scale murals in downtown New Orleans that generates economic benefits for artists, stimulates pedestrian traffic in the area, and reinforces the city’s position as a national and international destination for contemporary art. The project brings the city’s cultural tradition of art from inside the walls of a gallery right into the streets for all members of the community to see. Text “Unframed” to the number 56512 to for more information on the project and to track the locations for all of the newest murals.
This past month, Ogden Museum of Southern Art wrapped up their annual Louisiana Contemporary exhibition, an annual juried showcase featuring Louisiana-based artists to promote contemporary art and provide exhibition space for the work of living artists actively creating in our state. This year’s edition featured 56 artists from across Louisiana. Although it’s no longer available to view in person, you can still see the selected works via The Helis Foundation’s virtual gallery.
When was the last time you went to your local art museum? Thanks to The Helis Foundation, all Louisiana residents can visit local participating institutions for free through “Art for All.”. Make sure to check each institution’s website to stay up to date with the latest visitation hours and COVID-19 protocols before scheduling your next visit.
Here are current “Art for All” free days as of February 2021:
- Ogden Museum of Southern Art – Thursdays
- New Orleans Botanical Garden – Wednesdays
- New Orleans Museum of Art – Wednesdays
- Contemporary Arts Center – Sundays
To learn more about The Helis Foundation, visit their website here: https://thehelisfoundation.org .
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