Expect the unexpected as you enter The NOLA Art House at 614 Esplanade Ave. The 19th century mansion can be easily seen from the highway. The house has become a landmark in the bohemian art community.
“There’s a lot of rumors about this place that are often comical and sometimes scary.”
Artist, Scott Pterodactyl is one of 18 artists living in The NOLA Art House. Pterodactyl said this place is a safe oasis for artists from all around the world to come and tap into their creativity.
“We try to make paint available to anyone who feels inspired,” he said.
He said, over the years the house has been known for not only the art they create.
“The NOPD and NOFD came on code violations, and evicted us.”
Last year, The NOLA Art House made headlines after they were cited for fire and electrical code violations. Officials said the property was in violation of several safety and health codes. Neighbors also complained that the artists were throwing rowdy parties.
“We stopped throwing the parties,” Pterodactyl said.
With those days behind them they can now focus on their art like their giant, 50-foot tree house in the backyard.
“I like the vantage points. When you climb out and look down you can see far,” he said.
These artists collected the materials to build the tree house after Hurricane Katrina. The tree house is complete with rope, playground slides, nets, satellite dishes, and even zip lines.
“This metal line will take you across to the kitchen,” he said.
Interactive art is what the place is all about. Pterodactyl said art like their tree house has the power to take you back in time. A time when life was simpler.
“What I like most is people can go up and they feel like they are kids again,” he said.
One of those “big” kids is, 19-year old, Tysean Ryles. Ryles said there’s no better place for an artist to play.
“Here at The NOLA Art House they taught me what art is, and being here kept me out of trouble,” Ryles said.
Much can be unexpected about this house, but one thing you will most definitely walk away feeling is a sense of adventure.
The artists at NOLA Art House are planning to build a sustainable hydroponic garden and pool in their backyard near the tree house.
The house is owned by John Orgon.