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John Orgon, Scott Pterodactyl, and Homemade Parachutes Productions, Art House

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About the Artist/Site

The Art House in New Orleans was founded by John Orgon in 2005 on Esplanade Ave. in the Treme neighborhood.  The house was originally started as a way to provide affordable housing to artists, but the site became notorious after Scott Pterodactyl and the collective Homemade Parachutes Productions started building an elaborate tree house in the backyard.

The Art House now consists of two properties, the second located on St. Claude Ave. in the Marigny district.  Both art houses are derelict old mansions that serve as live/work spaces for artists as well as being equal parts art gallery, music venue, party haven, and squatter residence, but are most well known for their huge tree houses built almost entirely from salvaged materials left in the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina.  The tree house structures are constructed largely out of dilapidated playground equipment with a surreal juxtaposition of childlike whimsy and washed-out decay.  Both tree houses include multiple floor levels and various interconnecting tunnels leading from one segment of the yard to the next.  Transportation is either by swinging Tarzan-like from hanging ropes or gliding along large slip and slides. Most death-defying are the chain link fence bridges that connect the trees, hovering anxiously over a reflecting pool of dismembered doll parts. Each house exudes a renegade, post-apocalypse, Fight Club style anarchy and looks like something the Paper Street House would resemble if Durden and Co. added a DIY nursery for disaffected adults.

The Art House is an ever-evolving installation, with each new resident adding contributions to the property. Neither property complies to the city’s health and safety codes so they are continually threatened with closure.

~Irene Rible



Map and site information

Not Exact Address
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Latitude/Longitude: 29.97274 / -90.073618

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