Since 2010, the River Oaks Outreach Ceramics Project, under the instruction of River Oaks resident artists, has provided nearly three hundred sessions of visual art lessons to developmentally disabled clients between the ages of 17 through 35 from Rapides ARC and Pecan Grove Training Centers. Providing a positive expressive outlet in an external environment, basic art techniques are taught, culminating in a large-scale project and featured exhibitions. Art becomes a form of self-expression that can help individuals communicate their thoughts and feelings, providing the participants with a new creative outlet as well as an opportunity to participate in art classes with professional artists. These projects render a unique insight to the perspectives of local youth and adults who struggle daily with developmental disabilities, creating not only an awareness of their challenges, but also an appreciation for their immense talent.
Students from both centers attend classes weekly at River Oaks for an entire year. Under the instruction of Resident Artist and Ceramicist, Carole Steele, students work on numerous projects which they take home or have featured in special exhibitions. The theme for this year’s special feature centered around self-expression through mask making. These fun, festive and funky hand-built masks truly demonstrate the talent these students have gained over years. Study the layers and the intricacies of their designs and you will see their knowledge of the medium is both extraordinary and inspiring! Look for a Mural Project in Downtown Alexandria incorporating these students ceramics works during 2016.
Special thanks to our 2015 Project Sponsors: The Roy O Martin Foundation, LA Decentralized Arts Fund, LA Division of the Arts, The David Stock Assistance Fund, Central LA Ambulatory Surgical Hospital, Joseph’s Wallpaper & Paint, and Jena Choctaw Pines Casino.