Local artist Skylar Fein is fascinated by New Orlean's gay cultural history. For the art biennial Prospect One which closed this past month, Skylar paid homage to the memory of a gay bar in the French Quarter.
One evening in the summer of 1973, an arsonist set the Upstairs Lounge on fire. Most of the bar's regulars, many of whom were friends and lovers, died that night. In an installation, Skylar recreated the inside of The Upstairs Lounge.
The piece brings attention to a forgotten tragedy, the resulting act of courage that helped to galvanize the city's gay community for the first time, and the work of an emerging artist dedicated to reinterpreting and retelling New Orleans gay history.