By Jeanne D’Arcy, Mid-City Messenger
Mid-City resident and glass artist Juli Juneau will be showing her work at the Arts Markets on Saturday (Jan. 14) on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn in City Park.
Juneau was vice president of CNN News Radio New Orleans when she discovered glass blowing. “I really liked glass, and in 1999, I sort of fell into it,” she said. She began taking classes and just kept at it.
“It was so different from my day job, I think that’s one thing that attracted me to keep at it, making, what seemed at the time, slow progress,” said Juneau.
Then there came a time when she decided this side line needed to pay for itself. Producing glass art is expensive. It requires a commercial space, a furnace and specialized equipment, not to mention molten glass and another person to help control what is a hot, dirty and sometimes dangerous process.
So after a few years of making art glass on the side, and showing in pop-up markets, Juneau went full-time.
She is now an award-winning artist, with representation in high-profile public and private collections. In addition to her large and small pieces, she creates corporate gifts and awards. One such award that she has been commissioned to make since 2015 is for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ “Bright Lights” awards.
“My use of colors has evolved over time, and I use specific color schemes in collections as well as to evoke the places I have visited,” said Juneau, who has travelled widely. In fact, her website credits a stay on the African continent as inspiration for her glass making.
She has been showing in the Arts Market since 2010, after hearing about it through the artists’ grapevine. “It was exciting to me, as I was establishing myself, to have a place to exhibit and sell my work,” she said.
She cites many advantages, both to herself and to the other artists, of being a part of the Arts Markets. “They are very important, especially so for emerging artists. No matter where you show, the skills one hones in the Arts Market are valuable,” she said. These include how to set up an attractive booth, how to interact with the public and how to gauge what clients want.
“The interaction with my fellow artists is also an important component to participating in the Arts Market. I’ve even collaborated with them on projects,” Juneau said. “It is also a good way to find out about other markets and exhibition opportunities. Artists seem quite willing to share their experiences and knowledge.”
Juneau participates both in the Mid-City location as well as the Arts Market Uptown, in Marsalis Harmony Park. The Mid-City location got started during Covid when the Uptown location was not available. And once the both were available, the schedule of having two monthly markets started.
For her, the Arts Market in Marsalis Harmony Park is an Uptown fixture, and the artists who have participated long-term tend to show there. The Mid-City location has the advantage of being near lots of action. It is close to the Peristyle, Café du Monde and Storyland. “People who want to find us do,” she said, “but both sites draw from their neighborhoods in which they are located. And the visitors seem to find us both places.”
Now in its fourth decade, Arts New Orleans is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting arts and culture in the city. This includes presenting the Mid-City market on the second Saturday of the month and the Uptown market on the last Saturday of every month.
India Mack, the arts market manager, explains the importance of the markets: “The Arts New Orleans’ Arts Markets are important because it gives New Orleans and Gulf-based artists an opportunity to share their artwork with patrons who otherwise may not see their work. It gives attendees the opportunity to view and purchase one-of-a-kind artwork for themselves or the people they love.”
Juli Juneau puts it this way: “It’s like having your own shop twice a month. And the interaction with other artists is so crucial. I delight in watching artists collaborating. It is an important presence on the New Orleans’ art scene, and these Arts Markets have been a consistent presence, with a long history. Some other markets have come and gone.”
Juneau added, “I really like the fact that there is now an Arts Market in Mid-City. And the Mid-City residents like it too.”
Arts Market in City Park
Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn
8 Victory Ave.
Vendors: Elements of Stained Glass, Gourds Art, Kris Schmolze, Lasalle & Jackson, New Orleans Art Association, NOLA Pens, Shaun Aleman Art & Design, Still Waters Jewelry, TPL Creations, Works by Jawbone
For updates, see the Facebook event page.