Professors Instruct


River Oaks artists and patrons are ready to listen and learn as a unique lineup of classes, exhibits and lectures come to River Oaks in April.


Lykens ScottThe way Scott Lykens sees it, a teacher teaches, but a professor instructs. An art professor at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Lykens currently teaches sculpture and art appreciation. He is better known on a national level for his ceramics and pottery, having had his works published in two books and entered into several prestigious invitationals.


The Central Louisiana art community would be in a frenzy to get their hands on just one artist of such caliber. In the case of Scott Lykens, River Oaks has decided to raise the ante with another professor of equal fame—one that, matter of fact, teaches at the same university.


Tom RichardTom Richard, also an art professor at Arkansas-Monticello, is known for his paintings and drawings that explore issues of identity and history, often combining toys and art historical images with quotes ranging from philosophy to pop culture. Richard is also well known on a national level, having exhibited in over thirty solo exhibits and participated in numerous nationals. “We would be honored to have either of these two in their own capacity,” says Aubrey Bolen, River Oaks’ Artistic Director, “but having both in the same exhibit—we are just incredibly grateful for this huge opportunity.” Bolen refers to the fact that both professors will be exhibiting and teaching classes simultaneously as part of the ongoing GAEDA sponsored Arts Education Series.


Maria Manemann-1Not short on talent of her own, River Oaks will also feature resident artist Maria Manneman, locally and regionally known for her brush strokes that both define the image and express the artist. Manemann’s art is much about art and color–creating volume and perspective through contrast while adding harmony and balance through compliments.


Rounding out the exquisite lineup of shows is the artwork of Louisiana native Michael Graham. Graham’s handmade journals have been catching the attention of arts and crafts aficionados online and in the River Oaks gift shop. Graham, a drawing and printmaking instructor at LSU Shreveport, explores the compelling and memorable aspects about a sepia tone photograph that is eighty years old. “If you are from the South, you will definitely enjoy this exhibit,” remarks Bolen. “Graham’s drawings bring these experiences to the viewer on a much greater scale, with different artistic media as an aesthetic vehicle.”


Michael Graham

The exhibits will be on display from April 9th through May 25th, with an exhibit opening reception at River Oaks Square Arts Center on Friday, April 12th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Additionally, Lykens and Richard will host a gallery talk on April 12th at 6:00pm and a free lecture/presentation on Thursday, April 11th at 9:00am. Details on classes by both Lykens and Richard are available on the River Oaks website at or on the River Oaks Facebook Page.


The exhibit will extend through AlexRiverFete, Alexandria’s most comprehensive festival. On Friday, May 10th, River Oaks will offer sidewalk sales, open studios and demonstrations by Pat Phillips in Urban Art Techniques, with Rhonda Reap-Curiel and Tony Martin in Lamp Working. On Saturday, May 11th, River Oaks will feature a Raku demonstration by Lafayette-based potter Bruce Odell as well as demonstrations by River Oaks’ own Carole Steele in Yarn Bombing and an interactive glass project with Rhonda Reap Curiel and Tony Martin. For additional information, call River Oaks at (318) 473-2670.  Events sponsored by Gaeda, The City of Alexandria, Anna & Paul Moreau and Tish & Babson Fresh.