The Vestiges Project
(New Orleans, LA, 1984 – )
The Vestiges Project is an influential and ongoing coalition of artists and writers that was co-founded in 1984 by three women MFA students in the same cohort at Tulane: Jan Gilbert (’82), Debra Howell (’83) and Kristen Struebing-Beazley (’82). Over many decades, The Vestiges Project has produced a body of work that investigates memory and communication, highlighting the interconnection of image and language. Their work transcends exclusively visual or verbal modes of communication and perception; and that recognizes a kinship between Southern literature and art, particularly in New Orleans. Central to this work is the acknowledgement of vestiges: tangible traces of things past; as well as the use of layering, salvaging, or recycling of "vestiges", whether these be remnants, relics, rituals, memories, or myths; and a common sense of place, characterized by the hazy distinction between fiction and truth, facade and reality, past and present, that is peculiar to the Crescent City. Collectively, their work collectively has been presented physically and electronically at museums, galleries and public spaces throughout the US and Europe – ranging in format from theatrical performance to photography, video, sculpture, installation art, public intervention and dialogs. The Vestiges Project has been recognized with many awards including grants from Transforma/National Performance Network, American Center Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trust, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, among others.