Memoirs of the Sistahood
Memoirs of the Sistahood

Memoirs of the Sistahood- Chapter Four: Sacred Trails

Memoirs of the Sistahood -
Chapter Four: Sacred Trails

Installation by  Babette Beaullieu

Choreography by Becky  Beaullieu Valls

Music by Helen Gillet,  Composer / Cellist

Film by Deborah  Schildt

with Dance Performer, Toni Valle


August 3, 2013

Contemporary Arts Center

900 Camp Street

New Orleans, Louisiana


 From the piles and refuge of Hurricane Katrina, Babette salvaged lost doors and windows to construct six boxes. These “altar” pieces have become the foundation of a series of performances (2007-2013)  titled Memoirs of the Sistahood, a collaboration with sister/ choreographer Becky Valls of Houston and  Deborah Schildt, film maker from Alaska. The series is a visual form of non-linear storytelling with evening length “chapters” about women, family, home, and religion.


All six boxes are used in Chapter One representing the six sisters in their family and their archetypes. In Chapter Two four boxes suggest the interior of a home, and in Chapter Three: Ave Maria, three boxes signify the Trinity.


In Chapter Four the sisters explore consumption- the things we collect, destroy, and leave behind. The six boxes form a house, our biggest possession, with the stuff we accumulate and carry.


The Trail of Dresses, as seen in the art installation, are our human remnants which create sacred pathways - tracing our history, connecting us to where we have been, showing us what has passed from our lives, and bringing us forward.




Chapter Four: Sacred Trails is part of a larger show at the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans titiled,

 Tank Drama: Deliberations from the Wet Grave

  July 6, 2013 – September 22, 2013


Tank Drama: Deliberations from The Wet Grave


Lupin Foundation Gallery

Tank Drama Foreground: The Things that Float by Rontherin Ratliff
Background: Floodlines Debra Howell, Krista Jurisich, Jan Gilbert, & Michele White
Credit: Rontherin Ratliff

Artists working in a multiplicity of art forms—theater, writing, visual art, film, music, dance, and more—are brought together under the umbrella of The VESTIGES Project to present their work in the Lupin Foundation Gallery, along with scheduled events in the Freeport-McMoRan Theater and additional off-site venues.

These greatly varied works have evolved over the course of the past eight years, many winding their way through several iterations in different locales. The artists and works often traveled to cities with a high concentration of New Orleanians in diaspora, such as Houston and Atlanta. Others reached out to people and places with parallel coastal experiences and concerns. Some works passionately address issues such as global warming, public health, racism, and economic inequities, while others gently touch upon modes of peaceful escape, meanderings of memento mori, and metaphors and tools for intimate community healing and rebuilding.

Assembled together, these works are a potent representation of just some of the creative networks documenting, remembering, and re-visioning post-Katrina New Orleans. The ongoing efforts to think through the past while establishing fresh connections propels us toward new collaborative possibilities as we envision the future of New Orleans.

Tank Drama After Disaster by Rondell Crier
Credit: Rontherin Ratliff

Tank Drama Events

Literally Speaking:
Tank Drama

Saturday, September 21 at 3pm

Freeport-McMoRan Theater

Featured writers: Shelton “Shakespear” Alexander, Spoken Word Artist, Poet, Motivational Speaker
Adam Falik, Playwright and Arts Writer
Sherral Kahey, Author and Motivational Speaker

Jan Villarrubia, Poet and Playwright

Moderated by Kevin J. McCaffrey, Writer, Oral Historian & Documentary Filmmaker


Memoirs of the Sistahood–Chapter 4: Sacred Trails

Whitney White Linen Night
Saturday, August 3 at 8pm

Lupin Foundation Gallery


 Babette Beaullieu & Becky Beaullieu Valls


When Armageddon Came to Town, A Robert Adanto Film (work in progress)

Film screening and introduction of ShelterBox USA by Ken Thompson

Saturday, September 7 at 7pm

Freeport-McMoRan Theater

About the VESTIGES Project

The VESTIGES Project began in 1984 as an interdisciplinary collective of artists and writers who shared a common sense of place and sensibility nurtured by New Orleans. To VESTIGES Project participants, New Orleans is a complex and eclectic culture of remnants, relics, rituals, memories, and myths characterized by a hazy distinction between fiction and truth, facade and reality, past and present. In 2006 VESTIGES: Think Tank began as a 3-year roving residency under the auspices of the Contemporary Arts Center to explore the flood that turned New Orleans into true vestiges and its aftermath.

These explorations have continued in a variety of manifestations, now VESTIGES/Enactments 2013, as Jan Gilbert, Interim Director of Visual Arts at the Contemporary Arts Center and a cofounder of VESTIGES, curates a series of dialogues, public art projects, publications, events and exhibitions in partnership with various organizations and individuals.




Visual Arts Support


Visual Arts programs of the Contemporary Arts Center are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sydney & Walda Besthoff Foundation. Programming at the CAC is supported in part by our Business Arts Fund Members: Arthur Roger Gallery; Barrios, Kingsdorf & Casteix, LLP; Callan Contemporary; Hunt Brothers of Louisiana, LLC; The Law Offices of Matt Greenbaum; LeMieux Galleries; Merrill Lynch; and Modern Market.


CAC CONTACT | Visual Arts Dept | 504.528.3805 |



Becky Beaullieu Valls

Houston, Texas


Babette Beaullieu

New Orleans, Louisiana


Deborah Schildt

Anchorage, Alaska


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