Jonathan Ferrara is a New Orleans artist, gallery owner, community activist and arts entrepreneur. His gallery exhibits cutting edge works of art from local, national and international artists including paintings, sculpture, glass, metal works, mixed media and installation art. Exhibitions he has produced have been featured in The New York Times, Time magazine, Art In America, ARTPAPERS, ART News, The Associated Press,ELLE Magazine and on ABC’s Good Morning America and in numerous local, national and international publications.
In 1995, he co-founded and built the artist collective Positive Space on Lower Magazine Street in New Orleans where he was gallery owner, director, artist and publicist.. In April 1996, he co-founded (and has produced and curated ever since) The Annual No Dead Artists Juried Exhibition of LA Art Today that gives a voice and venue to young artists in LA to show their work. Later, he produced and was one of the artists in “Guns In The Hands Of Artists”, an exhibition of 61 artists using decommissioned handguns taken off the streets of New Orleans. In 1996-1998, as an artist he had exhibitions in Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Atlanta and Martha’s Vineyard and also brought exhibitions of 20 New Orleans artists to New York for The Art Exchange Show (1997-98), an international exhibition of 40 galleries from US and Europe held in Wall Street office buildings. In 1998, he brought New Orleans artists to St. Louis and then later opened his eponymous gallery in the N.O. Arts District.
In June of 1999, Ferrara co-founded ARTDOCS (Artists Receiving Treatment Doctors Offering Crucial Services) a non-profit medical program for New Orleans artists without health insurance. This program is the first of its kind in the country. In 2001, Ferrara began his international work, traveling to Havana, Cuba to curate an exhibition of contemporary Cuban art and has visited Cuba twice since and produced a mini-documentary and two successful art exhibitions, Made in Cuba, 2002 and Havana: Inside Out, 2004 which gained widespread attention in the media including Efe, the Spanish language equivalent of the Associated Press. In 2004, Ferrara brought New Orleans artists to Debrecen, Hungary for the annual Jazz Days Festival, acting as a cultural ambassador for the visual arts and presenting two simultaneous exhibitions to the Hungarian public. The first was a photographic exhibition entitled "As Seen in New Orleans” at the state-owned Mu-Terem Gallery and the second “Contemporary Art From New Orleans” at the Koncz/Contemporary Gallery
Ferrara has always been active in his community. He served on the board of the New Orleans Film Festival (2000-2004); is president of the board of ARTDOCS (1999 – present); is an alumnus of CABL’s 2003 Leadership Louisiana program and served as a commissioner on the board of directors of New Orleans Downtown Development District where he was chairman of the Public Art committee. He is also a sought-after juror and panelist for selecting and discussing contemporary art. He has been a voice for the arts and artists for over ten years and is a leader in the movement to make New Orleans a national arts destination and has been honored by numerous organizations including the Contemporary Arts Center, Gambit Weekly, and New Orleans Magazine and The Young Leadership Council. In 2006, he received Louisiana’s Governor’s Art Awards for Leadership in the Arts and in June 2007, moved his gallery to Julia Street., considered one of the preeminent art corridors in the South.
Jean Kennedy Burgess has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and has worked in the Contemporary Art Department at Sotheby’s, New York.
She has worked in a number of Modern and Contemporary art galleries in Manhattan, including Lehman Maupin Gallery and Jane Kahan Fine Art.
Jean was also a co-founder of HIGHWAYART, a New York-based organization designed to display the work of emerging artists in nontraditional spaces.
In 2006, Jean travelled abroad to receive a Masters in Writing from National University of Ireland, Galway, and remained in Ireland an additional year to participate in the start-up of an internet-based publishing company and writer’s forum.
In 2008, Jean made New Orleans her home.
She is an avid proponent of the arts in all forms and intends to continue to develop the gallery as a space for generation of new ideas, insights, and collaborations among artists in New Orleans and around the world.
Matthew Showman recently received his BA in the History of Art and Architecture from the University of Pittsburgh.
Having worked for the Andy Warhol Museum during the course of his undergraduate degree, he completed a fellowship
with the Milton Fine Curator of Art. He also pursued numerous internships in institutions in Pittsburgh, including
the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, as well as abroad.
Matthew interned at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, the oldest art gallery in the United Kingdom. He also volunteered
at the Tate Modern in London and Le Centre Pompidou in Paris. After his time in Europe he returned to curate his own
exhibition at the University of Pittsburgh featuring artists from the 1950’s to the present whose subject matter focus on
the steel industry of the Pittsburgh cityscape.
With interests in both art and historic preservation, Matthew assimilates to and complements the locale in which he inhabits.
Upon graduating, he promptly made New Orleans his home and began working as Gallery Assistant at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery.
400a Julia Street
New Orleans, LA
(504)522-5471 tel (928)597-5471 fx firstname.lastname@example.org