As July settles over Central Louisiana and things quiet down in the summer heat, River Oaks is probably one of the most active spots in the entire area. We just wrapped up the last details of Men Who Cook and Men Who Mix 2014, where team “No Pressure” and their Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatball Sliders with Homemade Seasoning beat out team “Lagniappe Home Care & Riverside Hospital” and their creation entitled, “The Three Martini Lunch,” meatloaf w/ horseradish potato and tomato relish, sweet tea vodka “banana pudding”. The first applications for the 2015 Men Who Cook have already been submitted and it promises to be a good one! If you want to be a featured chef, contact us soon!
Men Who Cook was followed by our Thirty Year Anniversary, as River Oaks turned 30 on May 30th. Celebrated by our members, supporters and community leaders, River Oaks received Local, State and Congressional commendations. I have to take the time to thank Leetha Harris, the board, artists, volunteers and our community for allowing us to reach this milestone. Without the tireless commitment of many, this celebration would not have been possible and the festivities will continue throughout the year on honor of our beloved organization.
Meanwhile, River Oaks’ Summer Arts Camp is in full swing. This unique summer camp experience is again sold out entirely this year and campers are busy with exciting art projects week after week. The July sessions with Pat Phillips, Amanda Roe, Carole Steele and Aubrey Bolen promise to produce stellar works of art from our inspiring youngest of artists. We are certain that some of our campers will one day return as resident artists of their own right.
To add to these summers events, River Oaks’ Resident Artists are busy preparing for the Annual Resident Artist Summer Show. With art camp and exhibit prep, the halls at River Oaks are alive with creativity and conversation.
All the while, we are busy giving the Bolton Home a new coat of paint and pairing Van Gogh Star Artists with Mentor Artists for our Annual Van Gogh Gala in November. Summer time is a busy time at River Oaks, but I love to hear the voices of the campers, artists, visitors and supporters bustling around the grounds–it reminds me why River Oaks is the favorite place of so many…and myself. So, if you have a little extra time this summer and happen to be in Downtown Alexandria, come by and visit–we’re always glad to see you.