Ellerbe + Rowan is a collaboration between two artists who work in different mediums but enjoy bringing those mediums together to push boundaries and create new energy. After long independent careers (Anna is a painter, Jenny a photographer), we began working on projects together in 2015, sharing ideas, and following those ideas into new work.
We live on a meandering bayou in north Louisiana and it is there we find the peace we need to create work inspired by our sanctuary as well as that of New Orleans. Anna was born in New Orleans and her history there goes back to her German immigrant grandparents who settled between Marigny Street and Mandeville Street in the 1800s. Though she didn’t grow up in NOLA, her family visits to the area continued throughout her life until she eventually moved to the Marigny where she lived from 2012 to 2015. She now gets to act as tour guide on our frequent visits to New Orleans as we roam the city discovering tender moments and chance vignettes in the neighborhoods from Holy Cross to Bywater to Mid-City and Uptown.
Paintings created from these explorations, both in NOLA and our own backyard, are meant to start a conversation between the two of us, between photographs and paintings, between the viewers of our work and the subjects that inspire it. They are gritty, atmospheric, and approachable. Quiet, contemplative, abstract. They contain a mingling of mark making and imagery, textures and color, light and shadow – mimicking the blend of history, culture, and rhythm that forms the magic of the places we call home.