Dirty Linen Night
August 9, 2014
What began as a spoof of an already-existing event a dozen years ago has since evolved into a full-scale, serious art event of its own, showcasing local artists and artisans in the heart of the French Quarter. Many galleries offer special discounts for the evening.
The 13th Annual Dirty Linen Night will take place on Saturday, August 9 in the art galleries and antique and craft shops of the 200 to 1000 blocks of historic Royal Street, as well as galleries on nearby side streets. The hours of this free event are from 6:00 p.m. to roughly around 9:00 p.m. and as many as 40-50 galleries and shops are expected to participate.
The evening, annually staged on the second Saturday in August, is patterned after the Warehouse Arts District’s annual White Linen Night, which is always held on the first Saturday of August. Its popularity, like that of its namesake, grew steadily over the years, drawing crowds into the thousands since it began in 2001.
What to Expect
During Dirty Linen Night, art lovers and casual strollers are invited to visit the participating galleries and shops and hopefully make purchases of artworks on display, thereby supporting some of the top artists and craftspersons in the city. Buyers can arrange with the shops to ship oversized artwork to the addresses they specify at the time of purchase.
To add to the fun and encourage potential customers to visit their shops, many of the participating gallery and shop owners give away treats, and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in the streets. The Royal Street merchants suggest that people wear the linens they might have soiled the week before during White Linen Night.
The evening also features participating musical groups, wandering clowns and mimes and other innovative entertainment features. Every year some new touch is added.
About Royal Street
The annual event, produced by the Arts Council of New Orleans, showcases the unique stretch of Royal Street and all of its artist-owned galleries. Galleries and shops in the area showcase their art, from original oils, watercolors and sculpture to prints, glass and mixed media. These quaint and often historic shops also sell jewelry, home accessories, decorative arts, antiques, hats, wigs, costumes, antiquarian books, collectables and much more. High-end boutiques carry the latest and most colorful fashions in both women’s and men’s apparel.
In contrast to the raucous bright lights of Bourbon Street, Royal Street is the French Quarter’s crown jewel in terms of elegance, decorum and culture. Galleries and other specialty shops are designated only by plain wooden signs, and feature the work of some of the finest local artists, as well as others with international “name recognition.”
In addition, Royal Street features some of the finest examples of centuries-old architecture with ornately decorated exteriors and balconies. It is one of the most photographed streets in the world, and one of the most frequently seen streets in films and TV shows.
“Dutch Alley” Artists
Also participating in Dirty Linen Night are artists in the small section known as “Dutch Alley,” where Dumaine Street meets the Mississippi River levee (actually 912 North Peters Street). Gallery owners and other local merchants may offer special prices on their merchandise or may be willing to cut deals with customers.
Traffic and Contact Information
During Dirty Linen Night, the most heavily trafficked blocks of Royal and adjoining streets are blocked off to vehicular traffic and strollers can take in the scene at their own pace. For more up to date information about Dirty Linen Night visit their Facebook page.