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Photojournalist presents the good, bad, ugly and beautiful of New Orleans

April 04, 2016 2:00 PM
Mary Ann Travis mtravis@tulane.edu
A marching group celebrates in a New Orleans street parade. Cheryl Gerber spoke about her book of photographs, New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy, at a Fridays@Newcomb event in the Anna Many Lounge of the Caroline Richardson Building on the Tulane University uptown campus April 1. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber)


“Keep your eyes open — and always look around you.”

Photographer Cheryl Gerber gave this advice at the Fridays@Newcomb event sponsored by the Newcomb College Institute on Friday (April 1).

Being aware of her surroundings and ready to capture the moment is the approach Gerber has taken in her more than two decades working as a freelance photographer in New Orleans.

Gerber presented a slide show of photographs from her new book, New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy (University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 2015). The photos juxtapose “all walks of life in this city,” she said.

The photos show the stunning contrasts of life in New Orleans — from Rex to the King of Zulu, from a downtown street party to an uptown garden party, from street parades and musicians to funerals and murder scenes.

“I have the good fortune to work a lot in this town and be in a lot of different places,” said Gerber. “I could be in the homes of the richest people on St. Charles Avenue one minute and the next minute, I’m hanging out on a street corner in Treme.”

Gerber will be presenting her photos again on Wednesday (April 6) at 5:30 p.m. at a Tulane Club of New Orleans lifelong learning event in the Bea Field Alumni House.

She will be joined by Sally Asher, a Tulane staff photographer and author of two books about New Orleans; and John Pope, a reporter for The Times-Picayune for more than 40 years and the newspaper’s star obituary writer. Pope has recently published Getting Off at Elysian Fields(University Press of Mississippi), an anthology of 123 of his obituaries and stories of four funerals he covered.

Register here for “Life, Death and Burial in New Orleans,” a Tulane Alumni Association event moderated by David Johnson, communications associate for the Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses in the French Quarter.