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Andrea Garland, St. Claude Arts' District Co-Founder & Promoter since 2005 (Creator and maintainer of Website, Facebook, Mailing List and more) was diagnosed in 2012 with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), along with other debilitating health issues.
A bit about RA: Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disease that predominantly involves the joints and is characterized by the chronic inflammation, swelling, stiffness and loss of function of multiple joints, pain, fever, chronic fatigue, and a general feeling of malaise. It can also affect various organs, including eyes, lungs, heart, mouth, kidneys, liver, blood vessels, nerves and skin. RA patients have a higher incidence of certain dangerous conditions, including heart disease, stroke, periodontal disease, osteoporosis, anemia, vasculitis, peripheral neuropathy, lymphoma and other blood cancers. It is a progressive illness, that, if not treated aggressively, can cause joint deformity and destruction, functional disability, loss of ability to work, decreased quality of life, and mortality. RA is best treated early and aggressively and requires life long monitoring and medication.
Likely due to many recent cuts to Louisiana's Medicaid budget, after a six month wait, Andrea was denied full coverate by Medicad, despite the severity of her disease. She began treatment towards the end of 2012, but has likely had the disease for several years prior to diagnosis. Between the effects of the disease itself and those of her other health conditions, Andrea's energy levels are roughly half what they were pre-disease. She deals daily with stiffness, fatigue, pain and decreased mobility, which severly impacts her ability to earn a living - that now includes the addition of significant out-of-pocket expenses for doctors and medication.
Despite her struggles, Andrea remains firmly commited to continuing her work on behalf of SCADNOLA, considers the 10-15 hours of unpaid work a month a labor of love, and pays any associated fees herself as it is against her core values to charge venues or artists to participate in SCADNOLA as it is her belief that the playing field must remain level and attainable for all.
Therefore, if you find the information this website and other promotions bring you useful, please kindly consider making a donation. For more information, please click here for Andrea's "Living With RA Page." Donations can be made through her page or via the donation button below - and donations of any amount, large or small, are much appreciated!
Inspired by their post-Katrina Toxic Art Exhibit at l'art Noir New Orleans, Jeffrey Holmes and Andrea Garland founded the St. Claude Arts District in October, 2005, along with the two other existing galleries on St. Claude Avenue - the Farrington Smith Gallery and Barrister' Gallery. While l'art Noir New Orleans and Farrington-Smith Galleries are now defunct, over the ensuing years numerous galleries and other arts related venues have sprung up along the St. Claude corridor. The St. Claude Arts District, one of the fastest growing underground arts scenes in the country, is now home to over thirty venues with co-ordinated gallery openings on the 2nd Saturday of each month and many other events during the month. Garland continues to maintain the St. Claude Arts' District website and mailing list.
From the New York Times "New In New Orleans", Nov. 2007: "Patrons were spilling out the door of L’Art Noir gallery even though it was still gutted just two months after Katrina. It had managed to mount a show of words and images displayed against walls of brown paper tacked to bare studs. L’Art Noir (504-324-2489) is one of three galleries pioneering a still-threadbare landscape just downriver from the French Quarter."
"It's that bracing spirit of art anarchy that makes the on-and-near St. Claude Avenue art scene the spot to watch in 2008."
- Doug MacCash, Times-Picayune, Dec. 28, 2007
"I've told anyone who'll listen that, in many respects it was the most satisfying exhibition I've ever had. Primarily, I think, because of the people who attended. Not at all snooty and pretentious, like many art patrons (Like here in Atlanta f'rinstance). And not superficial dorks cruising from gallery to gallery in search of cheap white wine, but really not interested in the art (Like a crowd I had in Philly a couple of years ago.). I dunno...the people who showed up in NOLA were more straightforward and appreciative. Maybe because of the burgeoning art district you guys are developing there. Or maybe because of the nature of the unfeigned eccentricity of the New Orleans resident.
Thanks again. Let's continue this relationship.
- Skip [Williamson]"