The New Orleans Museum of Art: NOMA (www.noma.org), as everyone calls it, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. This summer, a literally larger-than-life installation of Thalassa, the Greek Goddess of the Sea by the artist Swoon lords over the museum's neoclassical entrance hall. The 20-foot-tall woman's figure, covered with fabric swatches and sea creatures, extends her octopuslike tentacles to the top of the hall's columns and upstairs balcony. See the creature before she vanishes Sept. 25.
An exhibit of NOMA's permanent collection of Japanese paintings from the Edo period continues through Dec. 31, while a display of former U.S. ambassador Madeleine Albright's pins is up through Aug. 14, and Zen paintings from Japan can be seen through Aug. 21. A display of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain bronzes runs Aug. 5 through Oct. 23.
The anniversary will culminate with an exhibit Nov. 13 to Feb. 19 showcasing more than 100 pieces of art given in the past five years to the museum.
There's lots more going on at NOMA this summer, including festive programs with music, movies, talks and food every Friday evening in the outdoor Sculpture Garden. The series is called Where Y'Art, a play on the familiar Nola greeting of "Hey, where yat?"
Then there are yoga and other wellness classes at 8 a.m. Saturdays in the sculpture garden and tai chi at 6 p.m. Wednesdays inside the museum's art galleries.
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