Jason Berry Headlines Fourth Guild of St. Luke Celebration at Abbey Art Works

Internationally recognized author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker Jason Berry will be the featured guest lecturer during a day celebrating the Guild of St. Luke, a membership outreach program at Abbey Art Works located at Saint Joseph Abbey. St. Luke is the patron saint of artists.

Berry’s lecture is the signature event during the Feast of St. Luke on Friday, October 18th, which also includes mass at the Abbey Church, lunch at the retreat center, and the art exhibit, Glimpses of Fontainebleau, featuring the work of Nancy Tigert. Berry will discuss his new book, City of a Million Dreams: A History of New Orleans at Year 300, which will be available for sale at the event. Berry’s lecture and book signing begin at 2:15 p.m. The cost for the full day is $45 and registration is required by visiting


Berry released his tenth book, City of a Million Dreams last year, which also serves as the basis for the companion documentary, which he is producing, slated for release later this year. In City of a Million Dreams, Berry delivers a character-driven history of New Orleans at its tricentennial. Chronicling cycles of invention, struggle, death, and rebirth, Berry reveals the city's survival as a triumph of diversity, its “map-of-the-world” neighborhoods marked by resilience despite hurricanes, epidemics, fires, and floods.

Nancy Tigert, who was enrolled as part of Abbey Art Works’ inaugural class of students, is the first from the program to go from complete beginner to mounting a professional one-person exhibition. An advocate for the preservation of Fontainebleau State Park in Mandeville, Tigert, who has a background in healthcare working with disadvantaged teens, has witnessed firsthand the positive effects of nature on mental and emotional health.

“If my art can in any way play a part in protecting Fontainebleau from development and increasing people’s awareness with glimpses of its quiet beauty, then I would say it served a good purpose,” Tigert said.

For more information on the Guild event or to learn more about becoming a member, contact Abbey Art Works at 985-327-1021 or visit www.saintjosephabbey.com/guild-of-st-luke.