Art For Art's Sake

   “Tornado Safe Room” &  ”Outsiders in Mexico"

Gallery doors swing wide as New Orleans falls for art! It may be the annual defining moment for the visual arts in New Orleans. Galleries throughout the city join forces in one massive art opening known as Art for Art’s Sake. Please join us!


Haardt presents various paintings and assemblages tying together in her own way the concept of “The Storm”, and how to be safe from its ravage. Her painting," Hurricane of the Spirit" is of a bedraggled cartoonish dog and cat swept away in the oceans current below a foreboding stormy sky, painted in the month before Katrina hit.  Another group of small ceramic assemblages, titled "Tornado Safe Room", suggest these amulet creations can keep you safe from a pending storm. Whether there is actually a connection or not, Haardt has chosen to weave an unusual pattern of her southern life in the deep south, her life in a remote area of Mexico, and how for her this hurricane of the spirit "blew thru" and made a distinct change in her life and in her art.

The human response to Tornados and Hurricanes spans a continuum from fascination to terror. Though we recognize the need to protect ourselves from the physical dangers of the great storm, we are yet drawn to witness its awesome power. The”Storm" is a universal symbol of the Self in its most primordial form. Both aboriginal and modern cultures paint a vivid picture of how human-kind has related to this cataclysm of nature, inwardly and outwardly, for millennia.

ANTON HAARDT's storytelling paintings are, in part, based on her encounter with Hurricane Katrina. She was in the eye of it all when she did not evacuate with the thousands of New was too late and the traffic jams had already halted exit from the Big Easy.

TORNADO SAFE ROOM  features a series of painted shadow boxes. These boxes prospose the possibilty that there can be a "tornado safe room" to save one from a pending hurricane. Well maybe not fool proof , but at least a good hope! Her asseblages are complete with red glitter shoes in the center of the box - colaaged with 1950's wall paper of house themes...and other icons including a government stamp of a whirlwind
tornado stating " tornando safe room ". She has "saved' dog lovers, artist, writer, and lesbian couple and more....

The key painting in the show is titled," Hurricane of the Spirit:" created the month before Katrina ravaged Nawlins is the story of a dog and cat (like the Gingham and Calico ones ) struggling through deep foreboding waters...till a cat at the top seems to rise to the heavens encompasses by dark menacing thunderclouds. The painting in rich blues and greens with the deep troubled skies point to a pending storm.


For over twenty years, Anton Haardt has made her summer residence in Yelapa,Mexico, a pristine fishing village overlooking the sparkling Pacific.  Her travels through Mexico have afforded her the opportunity to amass a singular collection of Mexican folk art.  The vibrant and colorful art she has brought back is matched by its equally colorful histories in small villages,where faith and devotion are an everyday part of life. On Exhibit are "Ex- votos *, illustrated offerings to saints usually painted on metal. Their bright, detailed pictures celebrate miraculous events in the lives of those who commissioned their painting. Traveling through ageless towns like San Miguel and Guanajuato, one can still see Ex Votos and Retablos decorating the walls of some of the oldest churches in the Americas.

There will be a collection of Glittered Sculpture Cartoneria¹s, commonly called Day of The Dead dolls. These are modern recreations inspired by the character etchings of skeletons popularized in the 1850s. Anton befriended an old woman in Puerta Vallarta who makes elegant glittered paper mache Sculptures.  Her creations range from Flamenco dancers to shrouded Skelton Brides, each one with its own wit and elegance.  Ms Haardt has also found contemporary artists such as David Mecalco, who has produced a body of work as original and striking as any american folk art counterparts.The rolling paths and lush jungles of Mexico have inspired Anton's own art, creating a unique mix of familiar and fantastic, tropical and urban.Ms. Haardt has recently returned from Mexico, and is pleased to offer her latest acquisitions from Mexico, along with her best pieces from twenty years of traveling and collecting Outsider Art Inside Mexico .