Beyond the Jackson Square vendors, Magazine Street boutiques and Royal Street studios, art is seemingly everywhere you look within New Orleans. However, locals now only need to look in one place to instantly interact with local artists, hear their backstories and browse uniquely crafted collections. The brainchild of artists Collin Ferguson and Catherine Todd, Where Y’Art is an online community connecting local artisans to each other and to buyers.
“There’s really amazing work coming out of here, and we wanted to make it easy to connect with artists,” says co-founder Collin Ferguson.
It’s the creative community that drives the local economy of the entire city.
Collin Ferguson, co-founder of Where Y’Art
A Tulane University alumna, Ferguson originally launched Where Y’Art with Todd in 2013. Part 24-hour virtual gallery and part social network, the online platform has grown to feature almost 100 artists.
“We wanted to create a directory. Where Y’Art’s community members range from people who have never shown work at a gallery to Mignon Faget
[also a Tulane alumna],” says Ferguson.
Where Y’Artists also include woodworking craftsmen, like Daren Sumrow of Nola Boards
, and designers like Tulane alumna Ashley Porter, whose Porter Lyons
jewelry line benefits wetland restoration.
As professional artists and business owners, Ferguson and Todd felt in tune to the needs of the local creative community. They proposed that a curated membership-based online organization could grant participants limitless gallery space.
Offline, the Where Y’Art team also gives members business development tools to reach new audiences, including assistance with bookkeeping, brand building and styling works with photography.
“We work with them to build a cohesive body of work. Artists often don’t know how to reach out or are so busy in their creative process that they don’t think about marketing,” says Ferguson.
“It’s the creative community that drives the local economy of the entire city. We wanted to showcase the most valuable resource here.”