River Oaks to Feature Works by St. Mary’s Students


River Oaks to Feature Works by St. Mary’s StudentsRiver Oaks is proud to once again collaborate and feature works by the talented young artists of St. Mary’s Residential Training School.  Self portraits painted by the children attending St. Mary’s Residential Training School’s Autism and ABA Learning Center will be featured in the Stokes-Harris Gallery.  “Art is a very important and meaningful way for these children to express themselves,” stated Sister Carla Bertani, St. Mary’s Administrator.  Staff members and three postulants of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows order aided the children.  These young women are discerning to become members of the congregation of sisters who have served St. Mary’s since its inception in 1954.

As part of the project, each child was given the opportunity to choose their colors and prompted to paint the various parts of their face.  One of the young artists – Madison – thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  When she was asked to paint her nose, Madison told the sisters that she could not breathe because she had no holes in her nose.  After painting two holes, Madison exclaimed, “Now I can breathe!”

River Oaks to Feature Works by St. Mary’s StudentsIn addition to the St. Mary’s exhibit, River Oaks is also eaturingg New Orleans Photographer, George Long and Resident Artist, Marilyn Wellan.  Born in Washington D.C., George Long currently serves as President of the New Orleans Photo Alliance and has played an active role in the New Orleans/Gulf South Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) since 1991. He is a charter member of Editorial Photographers and has been a member of the Professional Photographers of America since 1984.

During a ceremony at the United Nations in 2006, George was honored by the International Photographic Council to receive the ASMP/IPC Leadership Award. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, George worked selflessly and tirelessly to help your fellow photographers in the face of enormous odds.

While in college, George began a 14 year career in television production, first as a studio camera operator and 16mm film photographer at KALB-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana and then 12 years at the studios of WWL-TV in New Orleans as floor director for daily news programs, commercial productions, and live remote broadcasts. While there, he started a part-time photography business called Longshots and by 1990 had decided it was time to create his own future as a full-time photographer shooting primarily for publication. Images from his extensive stock photography collection have been published worldwide.  He closed his Magazine Street gallery in 2009 and now lives and works on Annunciation Street in Uptown New Orleans.

River Oaks to Feature Works by St. Mary’s StudentsMarilyn Wellan, sculptor and River Oaks Resident Artist, will be featured in the Gallerie des Amis.  Wellan began sculpting in the 1980’s but stopped during period of involvement with growing roses and serving the larger “rose world.”  Marilyn, who is a world renowned rose aficionado, has been a rose exhibitor, horticulture judge and consulting rosarian.   She is only the second woman to serve as president in the 117 year history of the American Rose Society. She was also past president of the Cenla Rose Society. Wellan was awarded the 2009 Great Rosarians of the World Award in Pasadena and New York City.     Among her many hobbies and interests, Marilyn has occupied studio space at River Oaks for the past two years, following her participation as a Star Artist in River Oaks annual Van Gogh Gala/Fundraiser. Her sculpture entitled, The Column, was purchased by and now resides at Cabrini Women’s Hospital.  Marilyn enjoys sculpting, photography and jewelry making.  Her “Garden Party” themed exhibit will feature large botanical sculptures, photographs of roses and rose gardens from around the world.  Her dedication to her many passions has earned her a special accolade, a rose in her honor, The Marilyn Wellan, awarded to her at a national ARS convention on her birthday a few years ago.

River Oaks to Feature Works by St. Mary’s StudentsRiver Oaks will present all three exhibits featuring New Orleans photographer, George Long, resident artist, Marilyn Wellan and students from St. Mary’s from August 24th thru October 2nd.  The exhibit opening reception, sponsored by Evelyn and Ralph Sisco, will be held on Friday August 27th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.  The reception is open to the public free of charge.