"Searching the Holy Cross neighborhood for our ARTinACTION site location we were drawn to the gutted property at 725 Forstall Street. This 100 year old house with its beautiful live oak tree compelled us to use it as our site and ARTinACTION made this possible. While researching the site's history, a helpful neighbor, Mr. Albert Scott, told us the house had been the parsonage of the Upper Room Apostolic Church where Pastor Curtis Gales lived with his family before Hurricane Katrina. Thus began a process of outreach that deepened our connection to Holy Cross and informed this creative process.
The little white house that so grabbed our attention sits behind the boarded up
Apostolic Church, which until August 29, 2005 was an integral part of its neighborhood. Pastor Gales led the 100+ congregation devoted to community-based civic service, providing basic necessities to countless needy families throughout the years. Now living in San Antonio TX, Pastor Gales and his family remain exiled, like many of the Apostolic Church's congregation since the levee breaks of Hurricane Katrina. The church has not yet been able to re-open.
"The Apostolic Project" is installed in the former parsonage. The interior of the gutted house is filled with thousands of hand folded paper boats - a resonant symbol in a complex historical site. These sculptural boats were made collectively, many in collaboration with people from all over New Orleans - sharing this process added a vital layer of meaning to the work. Also included are representations of pomegranates which have a rich mythology in many cultures, symbolizing birth, death, and rebirth - perfect metaphors for a city struggling to rebuild post-disaster. A hand-made decorative crown is installed on the roof, honoring the church’s purposeful benevolence. This is intended to question the responsibility of a city consumed with catering to a tourist industry's idea of celebration while neglecting its own people, from whom tradition and celebration naturally emanate." - Artist/s Statement
ARTinACTION would like to thank Pastor Curtis Gales, Emmanuel Elam, and Marc Guilbeau whose generous support made this project possible.