53rd Annual Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival


The 53rd Annual Tom Peyton Memorial Arts Festival kicks off on Friday, May 3rd at First United Methodist Church in Alexandria. For more than five decades, the Festival has provided Central Louisiana with a wide variety of exhibits and programs celebrating the arts. This year’s celebration is no exception, promising unique art exhibits and activities for all ages.

The Opening Reception on May 3rd offers the first opportunity to view this year’s art exhibits. The competitive exhibit showcases more than 80 works by regional artists.

Presenting the merit awards and gallery talk during the reception is Juror Ross Jahnke. Professor Jahnke teaches printmaking, drawing, color theory and papermaking at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Both a printmaker and a painter, Jahnke’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States. He is a recipient of the Louisiana Division of Art Fellowship and has received numerous grants for visual art projects. In addition to the competitive show, nationally renowned artists Michael Elliott-Smith and Leslie Elliottsmith will showcase a collection of their works in a special exhibit.

The Reverend Claire Loraine, associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches is leading a special worship service on Sunday, May 5th in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Alexandria.

Jazz on Jackson, an alfresco concert for the entire family on Friday, May 10th, features Smithfield Fair. The band is known for their harmony vocals and original songs deftly placed over acoustic instrumentation. Smithfield Fair has presented its heartfelt original music and arrangements of traditional songs across the United States on concert and festival stages; in historic venues and theatres; at large events such as the World’s Fair, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Kerrville Folk Festival; as well as in the most intimate coffeehouses, cafes and house concerts. Flowers In Her Hair, Longships, James of the Glen, God Never Sleeps, Flying High and other Smithfield Fair songs have become popular internationally through constant radio, satellite and internet airplay.

On May 11th, Al Bohl will lead stop-motion animation workshops for Children’s Day. Bohl is an award-winning artist, writer and filmmaker with over 40 years of experience. Al has worked in the entertainment business through book and magazine publishing, advertising, marketing, music and filmmaking. He has illustrated over 50 books and written 12. Bohl released his feature documentary “Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle” and a re-edit of the original 1918 classic silent film “Tarzan of the Apes.” He continues to work in film and is currently writing a new Zaanan book in the series entitled, “Zaanan: The Mermen of Immersia” and is also working on a children’s book called, “The Trouble with Monkeys.” Al developed the Gen4 Animation Course that he teaches to the Talented Arts Program in Bossier Parish Schools.

There are two workshops on May 11th. : First through fourth graders will meet from 10:00am to 11:00am, and Fifth Grade and up will meet from 11:30am to 12:30pm. Participation is limited to 20 children per session. Register today at fumca.org/artsfestival.

53rd Annual Tom Peyton Memorial Arts FestivalAll exhibits and events are held at First United Methodist Church, located at 2727 Jackson Street in Alexandria, and are free and open to the public. Art exhibits are open daily from May 4th through 11th from 10:00am until 4:00pm, and on May 12th from 10:00am until 2:00pm.

Additional details, including registration for Children’s Day, are available online at www.fumca.org/artsfestival.