“LOVE in the Garden” was a fun, festive and casual evening offering the best of local food, spirits and entertainment in the elegant Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. In celebration of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts’ 40th anniversary, the New Orleans Museum of Art honored five artists, both faculty and alumni, from the renowned high school conservatory. This year’s honorees were: Jennifer Odem, Brandan Odums, Mary Jane Parker, Ersy Schwartz and Michel Varisco. NOCCA Jazz and Vocal Ensembles, The Yat Pack and Mario Abney & The Abney Effect provided musical entertainment while partygoers circulated around the illuminated pond shrouded by the gigantic live oaks of City Park.

For nearly 10 years, “LOVE in the Garden” has celebrated numerous visual and culinary artists in New Orleans. This year, NOMA toasted the artistry of craft cocktails and their makers with the inaugural LOVE Cocktail Challenge, featuring 13 celebrated craft bartenders in pursuit of the most creative interpretations of “LOVE.” More than 60 of New Orleans’ best restaurants brought their catering “A” game outdoors for the evening, and after 10 p.m., nine food trucks took over for the first-ever Late Night component of the benefit.

Charlene Baudier, Nancy Matulich and Lynda Warshauer Co-Chaired “LOVE in the Garden” this year. Today, NOCCA offers 11 arts training programs and an innovative academic curriculum providing an educational experience unlike any other.



What:  “LOVE in the Garden,” benefiting the New Orleans Museum of Art
When: Friday, September 26
Where: Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden