On August 15th, River Oaks Arts Center will host its first ever Mini-Resident Artists Show, featuring over 150 students from the popular Summer Arts Studio arts camp that took place during June and July. “Our Summer Arts program has been around for over twenty years, which makes it the longest running visual art camp for kids in the area,” says Aubrey Bolen, Artistic Director and Camp Coordinator for the SAS program. “Summer Arts Studio employs over 25 artists, para-professionals and camp staff during the months of June and July. It also hosts over 150 students during this time, making it the largest visual arts camp in the area.”
Summer Arts Studio provides an intense visual art curriculum for its young students in a variety of mediums ranging from ceramics and acrylics to mixed media. The lessons are always diverse, allowing each student to think critically, utilizing their own creativity and imagination. “The best part? The ton of fun we have during the summer months, not only with our art projects but our outdoor activities! Themed days are the best: Freaky Friday, Pajama Day, Tie Dye Thursdays and more. And let’s not forget, we have slushies!” adds Bolen.
Joining the Mini-Resident Artists Show will be the works of Seth Thibodaux, JoAnne Thompson and Michael Duncan in the three galleries at River Oaks. Thibodaux, who coincidentally spent his childhood in Thibodaux, Louisiana, attended Nicholls State University, also located in Thibodaux. He was already known for his cast iron sculptures nationally and internationally before graduating with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Mississippi in May of this year.
JoAnne Thompson, a painter in residence at River Oaks, is known for her crisp lines, sharp edges, geometric design and rhythmic patterns. “I love flowing forms, strong color, and the visual depth created by multiple value changes. I’m influenced by the art of the illustrators, the realists, and the precise art of the Orient,” says Thompson. “I strive to represent, through my art, aspects of our beautiful world in a way that is so stark in color and form and detail.”
To round out the exhibit lineup, Michael Duncan, presented in the Stokes-Harris Gallery, offers a more muted color palette. “Through my art, I explore the ability to suspend and continually recast the narrative of a moment in time. By reconstructing situations that break the passivity of the viewer, I seek to inspire a reflective and primal response,” says Duncan. “The purposeful recurrence of the male form celebrates a long-sought self-acceptance of my own personal choices. The neutral palette offers a visual quietness that frees the viewer to focus on the narrative in its simplest form.”
“We have a strong lineup of artists scheduled for the remainder of the year and 2016 is already starting to look even more exciting–as the end of the summer approaches here at River Oaks, the future of art and creativity looks bright and exciting,” adds Executive Director Rachael Dauzat.
An opening reception for the Mini-Resident Artists Show is scheduled for August 15th from 4:00pm to 5:00pm at River Oaks. “Leading Edge” featuring Seth Thibodaux, “Acrylic Potpourri” featuring JoAnne Thompson, and “Rise & Fall” by Michael Duncan will be on exhibit from August 21st until October 3rd. An exhibit reception, sponsored by Representative Lance Harris and wife Leetha, will take place on August 21st from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (318) 473-2670.