45th Annual Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival


45th Annual Tom Peyton Memorial Arts FestivalThe 45th Annual Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival at First United Methodist Church in Alexandria begins on April 1st. This 10-day celebration of the arts features a competitive art exhibit, special exhibits, and a variety of special events.

The festival’s Opening Reception is Friday, April 1st at 6:00pm. This gala includes the presentation of merit awards and a gallery talk by juror Lynn P. Castle, executive director of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont. The competitive show includes more than 60 pieces from regional artists. The special exhibit features paintings by Larry Leach, a renowned painter and three-time recipient of the Tom Peyton Festival Award. In addition, the School Art exhibit includes artwork by Central Louisiana students and art instructors.

Guest artist Larry Leach is hosting several events for artists in the area.  On Saturday, April 2nd from 1:00pm to 3:00pm in the afternoon, he is leading a ColArt Outreach Program for artists who are actively interested in painting. This two-hour workshop, sponsored by Winsor/Newton, is a hands-on event that includes the history of color and the technical aspects of painting with oils. On Sunday, April 3rd, artists have a unique opportunity for a one-on-one critique with Larry Leach. Artists may bring 5 or 6 pieces of any medium for individual critiques between 2:00pm and 5:30pm. Pre-registration for both of these events is available online at www.fumca.org/artsfestival. On Saturday afternoon, April 9th, artists are invited to bring their easels and supplies to the Courtyard at First United Methodist Church from 12:30pm to 4:30pm to join Leach for a plein air painting session by the fountain.

The week also offers special events for all ages. On Sunday, April 3rd, Kent Kilbourne is the guest speaker during the 8:30am and 11:00am worship services at First United Methodist Church. Kilbourne is a former associate pastor at First United Methodist Church and is currently the senior pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Hurst, Texas.

Larry Leach is offering The History of Landscape Painting: A Slideshow and Lecture on Thursday, April 7th at 6:30pm. This is a one-hour presentation on the history of landscape painting, beginning with Giatto and moving through the 20th century. The discussion will include the changes and developments of the materials and products used in landscape painting.

Jazz on Jackson, the festival’s alfresco coffeehouse, is Friday, April 8th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Smithfield Fair is providing the entertainment for this family-friendly evening in the church’s Courtyard.

Children’s Day at the Arts Festival is Saturday, April 9th at 10:00am. Lagniappe Theater is presenting Peter and the Wolf followed by a breakfast with the characters in the story. This event is open to children of all ages who are accompanied by a parent. Pre-registration is preferred and is available online at www.fumca.org/artsfestival.

All events are held at First United Methodist Church in Alexandria and are free and open to the public. The art exhibit is open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm from April 1st through 10th, and during all special events. For more information, please visit www.fumca.org  or contact First United Methodist Church at (318) 443-5696.