Alex Beard grew up in New York in the 1970s. Thanks to his uncle, photographer Peter Beard, and his mother, author Patricia Beard, he was surrounded by some of the world’s most influential minds of the time, including Andy Wahol and Truman Capote. His accomplishments include being an author, a painter, and a puzzle maker. His critically acclaimed work has made him a household name in many circles.
Beard’s travels have taken him to most of the continents on extended journeys through the remote wilderness, allowing him to bring back inspiration to his New Orleans studio, where his work encourages interaction between artist and audience. Vanity Fair singled Alex out as, “an accomplished artist, an adventurer and an accidental entrepreneur.”
River Oaks could not be more pleased to have such all-round talent visit, not only for an exhibit, but for two classes that will be open to the public. The first class takes place on December 5th from 10:30am to 4:00pm. It introduces participants to Beard’s unique style and technique, which he refers to as abstract naturalism. The core component of the class will teach students how to manipulate the viewers’ gaze via visual mathematics and composition design. Registration is $40.00 per person.
A second class, which will take place during River Oaks’ Annual Porch Sale on December 7th, is available free of charge to children of all ages. Through his unique combination of storytelling and art activities, Alex will draw, paint, and talk about art with participating kids from 10:30am to 2:30pm. “Our Annual Porch Sale is a unique shopping experience for art enthusiasts from as far as Shreveport and Baton Rouge,” says River Oaks Executive Director Rachael Dauzat. “We offer art from well over 150 local and regional artists as well as over a dozen demo artists that will bring art to life, from paintings to ceramics, from wood to mixed media, the Annual Christmas Porch Sale is truly the event you do not want to miss.”
Doors for the Porch Sale open at 9:00am, and relaxed shopping and refreshments will be available until 3:00pm. The Sale takes place in the historic Bolton Home as well as in the Annex Building, both located at 1330 Second Street in Downtown Alexandria.
Rhonda Reap Curiel will also be featured in her exhibit entitled “Through the Looking Glass,” Reap-Curiel, a River Oaks mixed media resident artist, will showcase her work in the Galerie des Amis. “Part of being an artist is being able to truly see your surroundings and expect the beauty and the ugliness that lies before you and see past the first impression, to seek beyond the first layer and into something that stirs your soul.”
Also featured simultaneously with Beard and Curiel is the annual exhibit featuring students from John Eskew Training Center. Since 2010, the John Eskew Project, under the instruction of River Oaks resident artist Carole Steele, has provided over two hundred sessions of visual art lessons to developmentally disabled clients between the ages 17 and 35. The exhibit gives visitors a unique insight into the talents and perspectives of the developmentally disabled.
The exhibits run from December 3rd through January 11th, with an exhibit opening reception on Friday, December 7th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The exhibits are sponsored by Robin and Nydia Freedman, Ralph and Evelyn Sisco and Lee and Pam Rubin. The John Eskew Project is sponsored by: The Martin Foundation, Decentralized Arts Fund, Downtown Alexandria Rotary Foundation, LA Charities Trust, Petron, Paragon Casino, River Oaks Square Arts Center and numerous individual sponsors.