May is a busy month in Downtown Alexandria, especially at River Oaks. The weekend after Alex River Fete, the thirteenth Annual Men Who Cook & Men Who Mix will be held on Saturday, May 18th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Notable men of the community will prepare their favorite food and drink recipes for tasting. Food, fun, music, and of course, the competition to be the Men Who Cook champion, will make for an unforgettable evening. Tickets are $50.00 per person in advance, and, if available, $60.00 at the door.
Renowned Artist Nippy Blair presents “Just Us Folks” in the Bolton Davis Gallery–his collection of what he refers to as ‘Louisiana Neighbors’. They are brightly colored whimsical characters rendered on layers of wood and embellished with ‘fru-fru’. Wire, beads, earrings, cloth, yarn and whatever are added to a wood character–recycling everything from old costume jewelry to things people have left behind. Like the artist himself, the neighbors always have different colored eyes. “Usually, while painting, the pieces will tell me their names or sometimes I have the privilege of giving them one–just like a proud parent. After the name, somehow their history emerges, and some of them are bizarre,” says Blair of his unique pieces.
Tony Martin and Barry Owen present “Glass & Canvas” in the Galerie des Amis. Martin, a former Van Gogh participant turned resident artist, works largely in acrylics on canvas, but also ventures into fused glass. Owen, a long-time resident artist at River Oaks himself, mostly works in collage with hand-made and imported paper from all over the world. Rounding out the exhibit schedule is Bill Bryant in the Stokes-Harris Gallery. In his exhibit entitled “Dogs are People, too”, the artist and retired NSU art teacher brings to life the human side of dogs by framing them as people.
Exhibit dates are May 28th to July 6th with the exhibit opening reception held on Friday, May 31st. “So far this year, we have had many talented artists. We are pleased to kick off the summer with another exhibit that will not lack talent and out-of-the-box creativity,” says Executive Director Rachael Dauzat. “While they all have different styles and approach, they all bring an exuberance of life, through their medium, to the table. These four artists’ exhibits speak directly to the soul.”
To wrap up a busy month, River Oaks will kick off their Summer Arts program. The camp for children ages 5 to 13 will be held in four two-week sessions: June 3rd-14th, June 17th-28th, July 8th-19th, and July 22nd to August 2nd. Campers will engage in programs covering pop art, urban influence, surrealism, and animals & abstract, respectively.
River Oaks is action packed in May, don’t miss out on any of it! For more information regarding these events, call River Oaks at (318) 473-2670 or visit the website at www.RiverOaksArtsCenter.com. See you in this month!