Destruction & Resilience: Hurricane art exhibit in St. Bernard Parish

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Something new has sprung up just 30 minutes outside of downtown New Orleans.  It's part of the P.3+ art exhibit, but it's more than art, it's a reminder of how much hurricanes have shaped our way of life.  WGNO reporter Deepak Saini takes you to property owned by Sidney Torres III in St. Bernard Parish, an area that's suffered and recovered many times.

A hidden oasis in a place you wouldn't expect.

"St. Bernard Parish is more than just St. Bernard Highway with strip malls. It's a beautiful natural landscape with marshes and forests," says Jeanne Nathan, Executive Director of Creative Alliance of New Orleans.

Among the oaks and moss is a thriving habitat, a site called Crevasse 22.

"There was a natural crevasse in the levee here in 1922, flooded St. Bernard Parish," says Nathan.

Hurricanes have threatened the crevasse time and time again, which sits on Sidney Torres' land.  To raise awareness, CANO set up a pop-up sculpture garden.

"The destruction of nature by nature and by man but also about the importance of these resources, these natural resources, and the natural beauty of St. Bernard that a lot of people don't know about," says Nathan.

More than a dozen artists are making their own mark, like Mitchell Gaudet.

"We just pulled up in my truck and started placing them underneath the canopy of the Oak itself and it's very surprising how it fits in the landscape, how it doesn't overpower it. It's subtle," says Gaudet.

The small glass greenhouses trap moisture and form little environments that pop up from the ground.

"As functioning greenhouses, they're unbelievable. A few of them even have ant piles that have nested inside of it so it makes a mini ant farm, so yeah, it's exceeded my expectations, let's just say that," says Gaudet.

Among the art installations, doors that were part of an old house destroyed by a hurricane, a buoy called "Poydras Light #82" that came in with a rush of water and landed near this spot, tables stacked on top of one another, and a flood wall made of wooden pallets.

"That's kind of a metaphor for our existing levees and flood walls which are going to be about as protective of us in a big storm as these would be," says Nathan.

All around, visual reminders of the delicate balance of nature.

The exhibition is open to the public Wednesday through Sundays from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. through January 25.  The artists will be hosting a free brunch at the exhibit on Sunday December 7 and January 4.  For more information, click here.