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Architectural designer Marina Palumbo-Simoneaux of M.A. Palumbo Studio, launched Creative Spaces & Elements in 2006 as a luxury custom casework and cabinet resource. However, since its launch, the company has evolved into a full-service architecture and design studio with the ability to build out any residential or commercial interior space. The designer recently moved Creative Spaces & Elements into a new studio space on lower Magazine Street. She uses the new space to design one-of-a-kind built environments using refined materials (such as walnut, rift-cut white oak and acrylic) and exclusive architectural design elements (such as custom door profiles, mitered edges, reveals and concealed handles). Palumbo-Simoneaux and her design team also coordinate and supervise the construction and installation for all projects. At the new studio, clients can view custom kitchen, wardrobe and closet casework displays, along with samples of many custom finishes. mapalumbostudio.com 


Cultural Connection

The New Orleans Museum of Art recently opened the Lapis Center for the Arts — a renovated cultural space for film screenings, lectures, theater and dance performances. The auditorium features state-of-the-art surround sound and theatrical lighting, and accommodates seating for up to 360 people. In addition to serving as a platform for interdisciplinary arts experiences, the Lapis Center provides opportunities for new and expanded community partnerships. The Latin word “lapis” has several meanings, including stone, marker and slab, and these materials are incorporated in the space. For example, Enrique Alférez’s monumental plaster relief mural, “Symbols of Communication,” lines the walls of the Lapis Center. The piece, created by one of New Orleans’ most influential artists, celebrates the universal desire to share stories through language and the power of the written word. Adjacent to the Lapis Center is the newly remodeled Dathel and Tommy Coleman Courtyard. Bathed in natural light, the atrium features glass walls that slide open to transform the space, connecting the Lapis Center for the Arts and the recently renovated Café NOMA, operated by Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group. noma.org


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Holiday Spirit

The Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans’ 46th annual Holiday Home Tour returns Dec. 11 and 12. The event highlights the homes of high-profile New Orleans residents through a festive holiday video series and an in-person art garden tour. The video tour gives a behind-the-scenes peek at four art-filled homes, historic architectural details and masterful interior design. Meanwhile, the art garden tour features a series of winter wonderland landscapes in the Garden District filled with custom-made, larger-than-life decorations by local artists. Both tours showcase the diversity of New Orleans’ historic neighborhoods and architecture, including details about the history of each house. prcno.org


Historic Architectural Tour

“Urban Enslavement in New Orleans,” at The Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses launched in October. The new tour focuses on the experiences of enslaved women, men and children, concentrating on their lesser-known stories for the first time. The tour highlights the similarities and differences between enslavement in urban settings and on rural plantations. hgghh.org


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Monumental Tome

Spain’s renowned ARTIKA publishing house, which specializes in the production of limited-edition artist books, released its first American book: “The Dreams of Frida Kahlo” (“Los Sueños de Frida”). This collector’s item has a handcrafted set of art books in a handmade wooden case inspired by Kahlo’s work. It includes a Study Book with close to 100 drawings, countless paintings, photographs and connoisseur texts, as well as a 34-sheet Art Book with Kahlo’s most prominent drawings reproduced in their original size and supplemented by quotes directly from Kahlo’s diary. There’s also an Art Folder with a reproduction of a large sepia print, “El pájaro nalgón” (1946), from the period of Kahlo’s affair with José Bartolí. The Sculpture Case displays Kahlo’s oil “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” (1940), revealed behind a veil of leaves in die-cut wood. Limited to 2,998 copies worldwide, “The Dreams of Frida Kahlo” showcases a unique creation emulating the artist’s own materials, tonal values and aesthetics, and the set is practically a work of art in itself. artikabooks.com/en