Paddles Up!

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Paddles Up!In the evenings starting on May 9th, when you look over the Red River in Downtown Alexandria, you will see Ancient Chinese Dragon Boats moving through the water as local teams get a feel for maneuvering the wooden crafts during practice week. More than 30 teams with 20 paddlers will compete on May 14th in the first ever Louisiana Dragon Boat Races. This event provides a team building exercise for all participants, a unique opportunity for the community building, utilizes the downtown riverfront, and will provide much needed funds to support operations of the Alexandria Museum of Art. 

Heats will begin at 9:00am and are expected to continue until 4:00pm. The day will be enhanced by bringing the Second Saturday Market at the Museum up to festival proportions while relocating up to the Amphitheatre.  Vendors will offer a variety of food and drink offerings and, of course, artwork. After the final race, a ceremony will be held to present the winners with medals and trophies and live music will end the festive day.

The weekend festivities kick off the night before the race on Friday, May 13th with the opening of several art exhibits. “Copley to Warhol: 250 Years of American Art Celebrating the Centennial of the New Orleans Museum of Art” will grace the main galleries on the 3rd floor. This offering provides the opportunity to view works from American Masters from the NOMA collection and promises to impress and inspire. In the Community Galleries downstairs, AMoA’s “Faculty & Friends Invitational” offers the latest works from artists who teach or have taught at area universities or have worked at the Museum.

Also in the downstairs galleries you will find “George Rodrigue: Saga of the Acadians” and in the Educational Gallery, the “George Rodrigue Foundation 2011 Art Contest.” The Saga paintings are early works from Rodrigue, which depict the well-known story of the exile of the Acadians and their subsequent settling in South Louisiana, including the famed “Evangeline.” AMoA is proud to host contestants of his foundation’s annual contest as a companion.

Paddles Up!George Rodrigue will be at the museum for an Afterhours event on Thursday, June 2nd.  He will demonstrate painting one of his famed blue dog paintings, and his wife, Wendy, will offer a companion lecture. This family friendly event will be free and open to the public. Copies of Rodrigue’s books will be available for purchase and the artist has generously donated a print to the Museum. AMoA will be holding a raffle for the chance to win this print as well as one that was donated by Rolland Golden.

The Acoustic Concert series continues this month on Thursday, May 26th. Host John Wakefield brings local and regional singer/songwriters to AMoA for this low-key, groovy offering once a month in the Clementine Café. The paintings in the café now feature work on the plantation – one of the common themes in Clementine’s paintings.

Remember to join us on Wednesdays for lunch with Portabella and Tuesdays and Fridays for Yoga! See you at the Museum!