Louisiana Children’s Museum and The Helis Foundation Announce Artist Fujiko Nakaya’s First Permanent Commission in the American South

When the Louisiana Children’s Museum’s new campus in New Orleans City Park opens during the summer of 2019, visitors will be welcomed across the museum’s footbridge by the first permanent installation by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya in the American South. Nestled among the majestic live oak trees of City Park, the new, $47.5 million project includes a LEED-certified building situated on and over a lagoon that shapes this site.This significant commission was underwritten in full by The Helis Foundation, a Louisiana family foundation recognized for their support of the arts throughout the New Orleans region.

“In a city steeped in tradition, we look forward to creating a new one as families from around the city, state, and world visit the Louisiana Children’s Museum to experience Fujiko Nakaya’s iconic public artwork,” said David Kerstein, President of The Helis Foundation.

In 1970 Fujiko Nakaya, working as part of the legendary group Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), enveloped the Pepsi Pavilion at the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka in vaporous fog, becoming the first artist to create a sculptural fog environment. Nakaya’s sculptures have since been presented all over the world from the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to the Australian National Gallery in Canberra to the grounds of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Ct.  This is her first project in the American South, and only second permanent installation in the United States. In 2018, Nakaya was awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale award, a global arts prize presented annually by the Japan Art Association.

“The Louisiana Children’s Museum is thrilled to receive support from The Helis Foundation for the comission of a unique Fujiko Nakaya fog sculpture on the museum’s footbridge over the lagoon that shapes our site. Similar examples of this experience are always accompanied by joy and laughter.  Not only do we champion the importance of high quality art being offered to young children, but we also applaud that this art is interactive and engaging for the entire community.”

Nakaya’s installation complements the new museum’s focus on water and the ecology of coastal Louisiana. The new 56,000 square foot facility will include an experiential floating classroom on the lagoon’s edge in the wetlands environment and a Mighty Mississippi exhibit which tells the story of the journey of the River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, through St. Louis and Memphis all the way to the Port of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.

Louisiana Children’s Museum

Louisiana Children’s Museum (LCM) contributes to the region’s future prosperity by engaging children’s potential and making that potential visible. Through play, shared explorations, and in dialogue with adults, LCM connects children to each other, adults, their environments and communities.

LCM at 420 Julia Street in New Orleans’ Warehouse District between Magazine and Tchoupitoulas Streets will remain open during construction of the new facility in City Park
(anticipated opening Summer 2019). The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. General admission is $10 per person for adults and children 12 months and older. LCM annual family memberships are also available. Visit www.lcm.org to learn more about the LCM or call 504-523-1357.