Welcome to B.E.E. be by Bay Art Gallery
For 25 years B.E.E. Galleries has been located in the heart of the French Quarter. Over the years we (The French Quarter merchants) , have seen the highs and lows of owning a business in a tourists driven city....the beauty of it has always been meeting visitors from all over the world, and sharing the extraordinary monthly festivals with tourists and locals that are always ready for the NOLA experience!
The 2020 pandemic has silenced the French Quarter drastically and continues affecting not only the French Quarter but our entire country....it is stressful, for sure but knowing the relentlessness of our people and our country....we will recover and stand firm in the strength to recover and to overcome!
Our goal for our gallery is to make all friends and visitors feel as if they are coming home....a place of happiness...a place that makes you smile...and whether it's in life or adding a piece of artwork to your home...that's what art should do...make you happy and make you smile!
B.E.E. Galleries ownership (Becky Edwards) managed Martin LaBorde Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana and Carmel-by-the Sea, California from its inception in 1997, until it was purchased by B.E.E. Galleries.
When the owner of the Martin LaBorde Gallery decided to retire from the gallery business, the opportunity was presented and the decision was made to buy the galleries in New Orleans and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Representation of most of the artists stayed the same, with artist Martin LaBorde remaining the main artist in the gallery. B.E.E. Galleries owners and the staff have extensive experience and knowledge operating a fine art gallery. Our goal is to make your art buying experience a pleasant and memorable one.
The events following Hurricane Katrina have prompted significant changes in the way we conduct our day to day business. Since the hurricane we have traveled extensively accepting gallery space in museums, fine art galleries, and wonderful non-traditional gallery showplaces. Please check our exhibit page to view pictures of the exhibits.
After the storm, B.E.E. Gallery was closed for four months and in December 2005, unsure of what the business climate would be for tourism and business after the storm, we made the decision to move to a smaller location. We moved from 509 Royal Street to 400 Chartres Street…in retrospect, it was the best decision we made in 12 years of business. Chartres Street and all the people, galleries and shop owners have been a blessing to us during our transitional time…it was a wonderful decision. Since the space on Chartres was smaller, we moved the frame shop, shipping and receiving, accounting and other gallery departments into a warehouse in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Four months after our move, a neighboring warehouse caught on fire causing severe damage to the remaining warehouses resulting in our frame shop and services being closed for another four and a half months. It has been a trying time…but after all that has been said and done we are pleased to say we have fully recovered and are looking forward to our second decade as a full service fine arts gallery. We are also encouraged and see an extensive rebirth of the French Quarter Arts District post Katrina.
In January 2007, the New Orleans Historic Collection (owners of our 400 Chartres Street location) announced that restoration to the entire glorious old building that housed our gallery and our second floor balcony apartment would begin in June, 2007 and we would have to relocate once again…..
We made the immediate decision to stay on Chartres Street. Chartres Street offers a friendly, professional atmosphere filled with unique shops, boutiques, great food, and wonderful fine art galleries…why would we want to go any place else and why shop anyplace else!
We are very excited about our new location, at 319 Chartres Street. We are excited to once again have all of our artists, frame shop, shipping and receiving, accounting and artists studios under one roof….we have all been conducting business in various places since Hurricane Katrina and it is wonderful for all of us to be together again!
Over the years, and with us during our hurricane recovery period, many of our clients have become life time friends. As they return to the French Quarter (many several times a year) B.E.E. Galleries has become a destination place. Our new, much larger gallery space will echo the history of the building and the historic past of the French Quarter.
Our clients and gallery friends seem to absorb the heart and soul of the Historic French Quarter…it truly becomes their city…B.E.E. Galleries becomes their gallery!
Another disaster hits the historic French Quarter....In March 2020 the Covid pandemic closed businesses and once again the Quarter experienced boarded up doors and windows, businesses closed not knowing when this pandemic would end and business could return. September struggles remain for all businesses in the French Quarter with many closing their doors permanently. Once again we anxiously wait for our beloved Quarter to open back up.... and anxiously and longingly hope to see you soon!