NEW ORLEANS WILL Meld Arts and Culture with Ecotourism

We know New Orleans has all the offerings of any major metropolis, from luxury hotels to art museums to sports events and shopping, but step outside the bustle of downtown and you’ll find our natural sites are just as enticing. Bayou St. John lets visitors kayak its serene waters, and the lakefront always offers up stunning views; outside the city, tourists can enjoy historic plantations and wetlands like the Atchafalaya Basin.

Atchafalaya Basin

Photo courtesy of Matt Northam on Flickr.

Connecting our penchant for arts and culture with our ecological beauty, LeMieux Galleries will feature the work of local artist Deedra Ludwig in her exhibit “Art, Environment & Observations,” running through Nov. 15. Located in the Arts District, Lemieux Gallery has committed itself to featuring the work of Gulf South artists for more than 30 years. Ludwig’s exhibit is especially exciting for tourists who want to see the cosmopolitan assets of New Orleans as well as the natural surrounding beauty of the Gulf region.

Ludwig uses non-traditional materials to create her paintings. Beeswax, soil, dried botanicals, and pollen are all possible pigments for Ludwig, underscoring the natural themes of her work. Wetlands are the main inspiration for her work, made clear through her use of calming blue and green colors and an overall sense of fluid serenity.

Viewing Ludwig’s work is a form of ecotourism in itself: by recognizing the importance of wetlands through paintings, visitors to the gallery can take away an understanding of our ecosystem as well as our evolving arts scene.

Of course, there are other ways visitors can seamlessly enjoy ecotourism as well. Hotels like Hotel Monteleone have implemented green practices, and the Hyatt Regency New Orleans recently won a Trip Advisor Green Leaders Award for 2014.

Ecotourism efforts impact locals directly: we can experience cosmopolitan events and beautiful bayous any day of the week, thanks to the tourism industry. With so many ways to enjoy arts, culture, and our surrounding ecosystem, New Orleans represents a cross-section of opportunity for residents and visitors alike.