River Oaks Showcases Pure Louisiana Talent

ArtCampShow  Lots of Louisiana will be found at River Oaks Arts Center in downtown Alexandria this Fall. The featured artist in the Bolton-Davis Gallery during the latter part of August will be Caroline Youngblood, who grew up surrounded by cotton fields on Breston Plantation, located in Riverton, Louisiana. After graduating magna cum laude with a B.F.A in Drawing and Painting from LSU, Youngblood pursued graduate work at Syracuse University, New York and returned to Louisiana to receive her M.F.A. from Louisiana Tech. A Louisiana Roster Artist, Youngblood works with a multitude of media, with drawing and oils being the focus for her upcoming workshop in conjunction with her show.

‘Louisiana Cotton: From Representation to Abstraction’ offers an artistic perspective of one of Louisiana’s favorite and most versatile raw materials. “Caroline is one of those artists whose imagery creates an instant story in the mind’s eye.  Her vivid hues in this cotton series allow for a different take on an every day subject,  depictive of Louisiana,” says River Oaks Executive Director, Rachael Dauzat. “The genuine Louisiana spirit of her work reflects in the way she highlights different facets of a very raw subject matter.”

Her work has been included in a multitude of statewide juried and solo exhibitions, including the “Louisiana Contemporary” at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans and Art Melt in Baton Rouge. She completed a three-month residency at Centre d’Art, Marnay sur Seine, France (CAMAC), funded by an Artist’s Career Advancement Grant awarded by Louisiana Division of the Arts.

Most recently, her work was featured in the LPB’s “North Delta Ramble” and “ArtRocks!” and one of Caroline’s “Louisiana Oysters” was featured at The Ogden Museum of Art in New Orleans as part of the 2015 “Louisiana Contemporary” exhibition.

Caroline’s solo exhibitons are a multi-sensory experience including a blend of Louisiana Art, Food, and Music to reinforce the content of her work. She recently was awarded her second Artist Career Advancement Grant to fund a new body of work, “Riverton, 1937: Part Two” which premiered at the 2015 North Delta Food and Wine Festival (Monroe, Louisiana).

In conjunction with her featured show at River Oaks, Youngblood will also be on hand for a hands-on oil workshop taking place September 24 and 25. Students will create a series of at least three sketches and three paintings of the same object. Space is limited and cost is $85 per participant.

Concurrent in the Galerie des Amis will be the Photographers Guild – a group of central Louisiana fine art photographers who promote their work on regional and national levels. Each photographer approaches their art form from a variety of genres, such as portraits, landscapes, architectural scenes, as well as artistic composite photographs. “Art of the Lens” will be an exhibition of 21 photographs by Photographers Guild members Piper Wilson, Peter Milder, Myron Wellan, Donna Futrell, Wilton Guillory, Michael Elliott-Smith, and Leslie Elliottsmith.
“As members we seek to keep a high standard of professionalism, improve our skill as photographers, and share technical knowledge with fellow members,” states Photographers Guild President, Leslie Elliottsmith. All  works will be for sale.  Persons seeking to join the Photographers Guild may pick-up a brochure in the Guild’s studio on the second floor of River Oaks or at the River Oaks office.

Rounding out the August exhibition will be “Purified Pathways” by J.J. Savage in the Stokes-Harris Gallery. Savage returns to his Central Louisiana artistic roots as he studied under master ceramist Bob Howell at Louisiana College from 1998 until graduating in 2002. JJ has been working at his studio in Mckinney and collaborating with designers and retailers in Dallas’ design district. His work continues to develop toward an aesthetic which embraces the vessel’s potential to define the space around it with both uniqueness and transcendent beauty.

An opening reception has been scheduled at River Oaks for August 26 from 5-7 pm. Show Dates: August 26-October 1, 2016. The exhibitions along with the workshop are sponsored by GAEDA and Bayou Mosquito Pest Management.

As Fall rings in during October, two local artists, Mary Louise Porter of Natchitoches and Margie Tate of McNary in Central Louisiana are among the 37 artists chosen by John R. Kemp to be featured in his new book, “Expressions of Place – the Contemporary Louisiana Landscape,” published by the University Press of Mississippi. Porter and Tate will exhibit their work in October, along with a book signing by Mr. Kemp.  Also showing will be Cory McCrory, a ceramic artist from Illinois and Suzie Parker, a mixed media artitst from Natchitoches.

“In a sense, Expressions of Place is as much about the landscape of the artists’ imaginations as it is about the land itself,” says Kemp. “With each painting, they have created visual poetry and sonnets to the land and environment that has become so much a part of their lives.” Some of the other well-known Louisiana artists featured in the book are Alan Flattmann, Rhea Gary, Rolland Golden, Auseklis Ozols and Phil Sandusky. The reception and book signing for River Oaks in the Galerie des Amis, will be Friday, Oct. 21, 4-9 p.m, in conjunction with the annual Fall Art Walk.

For more information or to register for a class, call River Oaks at 318-473-2670.
Check us out on the web at www.riveroaksartscenter.com or follow us on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter!

Kids, Kids, Kids & Art, Art, Art!

Kids, Kids, Kids & Art, Art, Art!!!

River Oaks has been the happening place for children ages 5-13 during the summer for over 20(!) years – the ever popular Summer Arts Studio Summer Camp is the largest and longest running visual arts camp in our area, serving over 150 kids every year. Kids focus on various art forms, learn basic techniques in various mediums and create detailed projects.

“With only two of the four two-week sessions remaining, we can report that Summer Arts Studio was a raving success with campers and parents alike,” says Aubrey Bolen, Artistic Director at River Oaks, who is also in charge of the yearly summer camp. “Kids love it – they love to create and bring what’s in their minds to life. Parents are often surprised at the skill level that even some of the youngest acquire in only a few weeks.”

Summer Arts Studio takes place in the Studio Annex Building, where promising young artists attend three hour classes, break for refreshments included. The remaining two sessions are titled “Exploring the Process of Layering” and “Inspired by Nature.”

Session 3 – “Exploring the Process of Layering” – July 11-22
Our instructors will engage campers with new and complex techniques for layering their work that take them beyond simple painting, sculpting, and assembling. They will create exciting, multi-stage paintings with expressive color and colored felt, discover the skills of ceramic sculpting with many different-colored glazes and build their own mixed media abstract pieces with wood, cardboard, newspaper, etc.

Session 4 – “Inspired by Nature” – July 25-Aug 5
The great outdoors will inspire your young artists to create pieces that reflect the natural world. From creating vases and paintings with features taken from nature to incorporating printmaking techniques with flowers, leaves and other natural objects, our students will learn to draw from the world around them to inspire creativity.

“Many of the kids that attended Summer Arts Studio ended up returning to River Oaks as instructors or artists or both,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. “The camp has been able to make a huge impact on literally thousands of students over the years and we are proud to carry the tradition on every year. We also look forward to the culmination exhibition on August 20, where over 100 of the resulting pieces from Summer Arts Studio are displayed in the Main Gallery.”

Classes are grouped according to age {(5-7) (8-10) (11-13)} and have age appropriate curricula. Each session is geared with specific themes and campers wanting to attend the entire summer will have a variety of completed projects. An all day option to include lunch is available.

SAS 2016 sponsored by: Alexandria Pediatric Dentistry, Premier Pediatrics, Drs. Shawn and Gregory Dowd, Elizabeth and Kyle Randall & Camille and Trey Jackson.
For more information, contact River Oaks at 318-473-2670 or via www.RiverOaksArtsCenter.comIMG_3446

2016 Dirty South Mug Award Recipients

On behalf of River Oaks board, staff and our Central Louisiana arts community, we would like to thank the numerous artists who entered their incredible work into River Oaks’ 2nd Annual Dirty South Mug Call and Competition.  What an amazing array of talent seen here in these three galleries.  Special thanks to our sponsors: LA Division of the Arts, Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority and Ugly Mug Marketing.

Just a few interesting Stats from our 2nd Annual Dirty South Mug Call for 2016–
227 Mugs are showcased here in our three galleries
28 States are represented
State with most entrants: tie between LA and TX (nine entrants each)
Farthest distance traveled: Mierra Mathison- British Columbia who is a part of our Friends component of the show.

Special thanks to our extraordinary guest Juror, Kristen Kieffer.  Kristen is a full time studio potter, workshop presenter and instructor from Baldwinville, Massachusetts.   Last week, she provided extensive lessons showcasing her unique designs and techniques to a sold out workshop, some students from as far away as California.  She was also tasked with jurying over 180 applications, selecting featured entries for our Main Gallery Showing (Bolton Davis Gallery).  As customary with our guest jurors, Kieffer provided a little insight into here decision making process to a crowd of 100 at the opening reception on Friday evening.  She discussed her choices for ‘Best in Show’ and Merit Award winners.

The Award Recipients are as follows:

2nd Annual Dirty South Mug Show – Juried Competition Portion – Guest Juror Kristen Kieffer
Best in Show – Nikki Mizak “Junior” (North Carolina)
2nd Place – Stephen Heywood “Cup” (Florida)
3rd Place – Chris Pate “Mug #1” (Oregon)
Merit Award/HM – Emily Vizina – “Magnolia Tea Bowl” (Louisiana)
Merit Award/HM – Mashiko Erhard – “Mug” (Missouri)

2nd Annual Dirty South Mug Show – Friends of the Arts Center Component – Panel Jury

Best in Show – Renee Lopresti – “Chairs”  (Texas)
Merit Award/HM – Rebecca Lowery – “Berrylicious Mug”  (Indiana)