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Mart for Art’s Sake: Mid-City resident showcases New Orleans in reverse glass paintings

Megan Barnes at work in her studio. (Kate Daigle photo)

By Jeanne D’Arcy, Mid-City Messenger

Visual artist and Mid-City resident Megan Barnes has been showing and selling her work at the Arts Market for about seven years.

“A friend, who is an art collector told me about it,” says Barnes. “I really liked the fact that people could talk to and interact with the creators of the art.”

She will be exhibiting her reverse glass paintings in the upcoming Mid-City holiday Arts Market on Sunday (Dec. 11) in City Park’s Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn.

“The relationships with customers are key,” she said. “I have cultivated repeat customers over the years, both locals and visitors from out of town.” She feels that is has been great support for her career, and she values the interaction with her fellow artists, too.

Barnes works in the centuries-old technique of reverse painting on glass. Barnes had been painting on canvas when she got the idea of painting a window scene for her mother-in-law, who loves New Orleans but doesn’t live here. So she decided to paint on glass to enhance the view of a New Orleans scene looking from the inside out.

“I loved it immediately,” Barnes said. “I am very detail oriented, so the challenge of painting in reverse suits me. Unlike most paintings, I begin with the details and then work to the broader areas.”

She finds that her technique gives her the ability to build a lot of depth as well as to layer. This is especially true with non-glare glass that can give the illusion of distance.

Megan Barnes regularly sells her work at the Mid-City Arts Market in City Park. (Courtesy of Megan Barnes)

Barnes often shows her work at both the Mid-City Arts Market, on the second Saturday of the month on City Park’s Great Lawn, and the Uptown Arts Market, on the last Saturday of the month at Marsalis Harmony Park (formerly Palmer Park) at the corner of South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues. In December, both markets will be two days, Saturday and Sunday, to accommodate Christmas shoppers.

The Mid-City and Uptown markets are different, Barnes said. There are more locals at the Marsalis Harmony Park Arts Market, and a noticeable number who seem to be regulars.

The Mid-City location draws more out-of-town visitors. Its proximity to the City Park location of Café du Monde, as well as the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art, makes it as easy stop to include for travelers coming to our city.

The Arts Markets are sponsored by Arts New Orleans, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting arts and culture in the city.

The upcoming Mid-City Market will feature live music by the Secret Six Jazz Band on Sunday (Dec. 11) from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The music in the City Park location is always acoustic, to comply with the park’s regulations.

And as Megan Barnes says, you get to meet the person who made the work. Barnes goes on to say “I have recommended the Arts Market to so many people.”

"Iris and Spanish Moss" by Megan Barnes
“Iris and Spanish Moss” by Megan Barnes


For Barnes, the market has become a family tradition. Her brother-in-law, woodworker William Broussard, made her booth and then started making her frames. He has formed Silver Fox Woodworking and now he and his wife, Karen Broussard, also show at the Arts Markets.

Barnes especially likes to do live painting and welcomes the Arts Market audience to watch her work. “I find the Arts Market so energizing,” Barnes said.

Learn more about Barnes and view her work at

Arts Market at City Park (Devin Ball Photography)

Mid-City Arts Market
City Park’s Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn
8 Victory Ave
Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Secret Six Jazz Band will play Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, visit the Facebook event page

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