New Orleans is chock-full of public art and sculpture. From the various bronze historical figures who stand guard over traffic circles and neutral grounds throughout the city to the carefully-curated objets d'art at the Besthoff Sculpture Garden, from the Banksy graffiti that's been carefully preserved in several locations to the sprawling acres of funerary monuments that make up the Cities of the Dead, outdoor art is taken seriously 'round here.
An extraordinary sculpture that's often overlooked, though, is the Holocaust Memorial in Woldenberg Park. It's easy to find: it's right next to the Moon Walk (the riverfront path that runs between the Audubon Aquarium and the French Market) but most people pass right by without stopping to look.
Don't make that mistake! The sculpture is a really astounding piece of modern art, designed by kinetic and op-art pioneer Yaacov Agam. It's made up of nine vertical panels, each of which is entirely abstract on its own. Together, though, they make images that can only be seen from specific angles. Ten different images, to be exact, from the clear symbolism of the Star of David to more conceptual views, symbolizing ideas like the chaos of the Jewish diaspora or the horrific darkness of the Holocaust. The ten views are explained at the Holocaust Memorial website.
The sculpture should be viewed in motion, so take a few minutes and walk around it, watching the way the colors move and take on different shapes. It's really quite beautiful, and the kinetic abstraction is surprisingly effective at portraying the tragedies and triumphs of the Jewish people. Darkness, light, color, and constant motion. It's a meaningful piece of work, and one that deserves attention, so make a point of stopping by. Learn more: The New Orleans Holocaust Memorial in Woldenberg Park
New Orleans Holocaust Memorial (Menorah View) Photo © Megan Romer, 2013 / Licensed to About.com