Mending the Sky

the trace, whether we are attending to it or not (a space for each other’s breathing)
by Firelei Báez
90″x114.375″; acrylic, oil and transfer on archival printed canvas; 2019.
Museum Purchase, Carmen Donaldson Fund, 2019.34, Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York. Photo: Phoebe d’Heurle


Mending the Sky

at the New Orleans Museum of Art in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
10 October 2020-31 January 2021

“Mending the Sky” is the New Orleans Museum of Art’s first major exhibition following New Orleans’ months-long shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibition brings together eleven artists’ projects that respond to a world turned upside down. Working across the fields of art, animation, and performance, the artists work to shift conversations, challenge entrenched views, and subvert the established order.

A Sense of Memory by Ana Hernandez
60″x41″x14″; cast metal, found glass, found wood, found metal, found nails, steel wire, steel wool, oil pastel, wood stain on found wood panel in artist’s frame; 2015.
New Orleans Museum of Art, Museum Purchase © Ana Hernandez

Inspired by one of the works in the exhibition, “Mending the Sky” takes its title from a Chinese fable in which a rip in the sky causes the earth to split open, bringing floods, fires, famine, and disease—until a goddess comes to take on the arduous task of mending the broken sky. Each of the artworks in the exhibition help give shape to the aftermath of calamity, building towards a more equitable future by helping to envision the new world that might rise in the wake of crisis. Premiering several major new acquisitions by both locally based and internationally recognized artists, “Mending the Sky” brings a global perspective to issues currently affecting the city of New Orleans, the United States and the world. With roots in Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Vietnam, India, Europe, and the American South, each of these artist projects are also acts of world-building that offer a glimpse of a future that cannot yet be seen.

(Text adapted from the museum’s press materials)


New Orleans Museum of Art
City Park
1 Collins Diboll Circle
New Orleans, Louisiana 70124 USA
(504) 658-4100

Wednesday-Sunday, 10AM-5PM