47th Annual Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival Begins April 12th


Tom Peyton Memorial ArtsFor more than four decades, the Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival has offered a variety of exhibits and programs in Central Louisiana, including the first juried exhibit in the area. The 47th annual Festival is no exception.  The competitive exhibit showcases more than 70 works from regional artists. The opening reception on April 12th features the presentation of merit awards and a Gallery Talk by juror Bill Bryant. The School Art exhibit displays the art of local students and their teachers.


Hasmig Vartanian, a native Armenian who grew up in Beirut, Lebanon before her family immigrated to the United States, is exhibiting Hasmig Vartanian: Paper, Cloth, Wood. She combines the processes and techniques of fiber arts with painting, focusing on the elements of process, texture and time. All of the exhibits are open daily from April 13th through 21st from 10:00am until 4:00pm.


In addition to the art exhibits, there are noteworthy events for all ages during the Festival. On April 13th, Children’s Day at the Arts Festival presents teachers from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts. The mission of the museum is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.


A variety of sessions for all ages is available. I Am an Artist, for children ages 4 to 7 years old, engages participants in thinking about what it means to be an artist and allows them to explore the processes and materials used in picture books. Bookmaking Basics, for children ages 6 to 8 years old, is a multi-sensory program that teaches the fundamentals of bookmaking vocabulary and techniques. Finally, Possibilities in Print, for ages 9 to 13 years old, teaches how picture books are produced and allows participants to experiment with the tools and techniques of printmaking and imagine, reproduce and share their own stories and ideas. Space at each of these sessions is limited; online registration is required for participation.


On Sunday, April 14th, The Reverend Larry Norman, director of Louisiana Volunteers in Mission for the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, is the guest speaker during the Sunday morning worship services. The same afternoon, a Lake Charles music trio of Sarah Callahan, Rod Lauderdale and Dorothy Sahlmann is presenting My Favorite Things.


The Festival concludes with Jazz on Jackson, the alfresco coffeehouse featuring Reverend Charley’s Patent Medicine Show.


All exhibits and events are held at First United Methodist Church, 2727 Jackson Street in Alexandria and are free and open to the public. Additional information and registration forms for Children’s Day are available online at www.fumca.org/artsfestival.