48th Annual Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival Begins March 28th


Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Fest LogoFor more than four decades, the Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival has offered a variety of art exhibits and programs in Central Louisiana. This 48th annual celebration of the arts begins on March 28th at First United Methodist Church in Alexandria.


The competitive exhibit showcases more than 70 works from regional artists. The Opening Reception on Friday, March 28th features the presentation of merit awards and a gallery talk by juror Samuel Joseph Corso. Corso, a graduate of Louisiana State University and renowned artist in stained glass design, has many successful commissions for public art including St. Joseph Catholic Church, Baton Rouge; St. Theresa Catholic Church, Delhi; and the St. Ignatius Residence, New Orleans.


In addition to the competitive show and the School Art exhibit, which displays the art of local students and their teachers, a special exhibit entitled Plein Air Paintings of Southeastern Louisiana features works by Claude Ellender, Mary Monk and Louis O. Morales. All exhibits are open daily from March 28th through April 6th, from 10:00am until 4:00pm.


On Saturday, March 29th, Diana MacKenzie from The Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts is presenting Artful Adventures, an opportunity for children to bind books and create collages, puppets and masks.


Cynthia Fierro Harvey, bishop of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be the guest speaker during the 11:00am worship service on Sunday, March 30th. Bishop Fierro Harvey is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology and currently resides in Baton Rouge.


Jazz on Jackson, a favorite for all ages, features Gordon & Gail Roach & Friends in an alfresco coffeehouse on Friday, April 4th. The following morning, Felder Rushing, a master gardener, horticulturist and author, is presenting Art in the Garden, followed after lunch by a guided tour of the gardens of Carl and Janet Ahrens.


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 details, including registration forms for Children’s Day and Art in the Garden, are available online at www.fumca.org/artsfestival.