Believing in the creative magic that New Orleans inspires, the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery launched an Artist in Residence program during the summer of 2016 that hosted a student artist from outside the city to live at the historic Arts District hotel during the month of July. The program will be making a return this coming July 2017, hosting Chicago-based artist Kate Lewis, known for her large scale black and white illustrations.
In summer 2016, Thomas “TJ” Kiser, a second year student at the Art Institute of Chicago, debuted as the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery’s first Artist in Residence.
Having discovered an early love of art as a child, Kiser’s paintings and drawings serve as a medium to express what it is that he finds beautiful and meaningful. Describing his art as filled with the child-like exuberance that drove him to sketch his first drawing, Kiser’s approach to art making is one that is playful, endlessly creative and is defined by his home town. Just as the unconventional spirit of New Orleans has inspired generations of artists in the south, the rhythm of urban life in Chicago has informed Kiser’s body of work.
Kiser’s adventures and previews of the works he created in New Orleans were shared on the hotel’s Instagram account – @Old77Hotel – using the hashtag #77ResidentArtist. On August 6, 2016, Kiser debuted his completed works in the lobby gallery during White Linen Night, the city’s annual arts block party along Julia Street. All proceeds from works sold during Kiser’s show benefitted New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. More information on Kiser can be found at http://www.thomaskiserart.com/.