River Oaks Turns 30 on the 30th


RiverOaksExterior-wbExhibit Openings at River Oaks are always special–one doesn’t get a chance to rub elbows amongst, and exchange ideas with renowned regional artists just any day, after all. The May 2014 Exhibit Opening features one of Louisiana’s up-and-coming artists, Jacob Broussard, and one of Louisiana’s most talented and established artists, Jane Crowell. Rounding out the trio of creativity is Natchitoches artist Chris King, who is well known for his art-meets-performance installations.

The May Exhibit Opening is also special in and of itself, because when Downtown’s beloved arts organization turns thirty.  A party is definitely in order! It’s time to celebrate the many public art pieces River Oaks has been involved in since its inception in 1984. It’s time to celebrate the hundreds of artists that have come through the halls of the historic Bolton Home (c. 1899). It’s time to celebrate the City of Alexandria and the Bolton family who have been generous stewards to such a wonderful creative arts center. It’s also time to celebrate the visitors, literally hundreds of thousands, which have admired the art and have given the artists a reason to display their craft–breathing life into an organization that has done so much for Alexandria and Central Louisiana year in and year out.

River Oaks’ birthday celebration is one of reflection, remembering those who have come before, those who have dedicated years of their lives and given so much to the arts. It is also a celebration of the future–having planted the seed of art and creativity in thousands of young adults, in those with specials needs, in the elderly, and in the next generation of artists. River Oaks’ forty resident artists are truly a testament that art is alive and well in Central Louisiana.

“River Oaks means so much to me,” says Leetha Harris, who has served as president of River Oaks’ board of directors several times. “We shop here, celebrate here, connect with artists here–sometimes even with the artist within us. River Oaks has been a great treasure for the community and has been able to provide work space to artists that might otherwise never have had a chance to practice their art.”

River Oaks, which has welcomed more regional, national and international artists over the years, has made it its mission to provide space, education and community outreach–bringing art to the people and people to the art. “If you have ever been here during summer camp, during exhibit openings, attending classes and education projects that are ongoing with kids, seniors or special needs clients, you see their eyes light up with creativity and it’s a feeling like no other. It’s not only about keeping art alive and well in our area, it’s about providing an outlet, it’s a gift that will always be with them, whether they are young budding artists, art lovers, visitors or professional artists,” says Rachael Dauzat, who has been the Center’s executive director for over fifteen years.

ROA-30th-webThe exhibit opening, scheduled for May 30th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, will be followed immediately by an official birthday celebration, including an awards ceremony beginning at 7:00 pm. The public is invited to attend.  Exhibit dates for Broussard, Crowell and King are May 27th through July 5th.  The exhibit opening reception and birthday celebration are both free and open to the public.   The exhibit is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. David Holcombe; and the Anniversary Celebration is sponsored by Representative & Mrs. Lance Harris.

For more information, call (318) 473-2670 or visit River Oaks on the web at www.riveroaksartscenter.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/riveroaksartscenter.