Second Annual Dirty South Mug Competition and Show


River Oaks collage-webA sensational array of pottery talent will hit Alexandria this month! When River Oaks debuted the Dirty South Mug Competition and Show last year, Executive Director Rachael Dauzat called it a “jump onto the national stage” for River Oaks. True to form, the second inception of the annual event features even more mugs from more states–the call for entries drew a total of 181 applications and resulted in over 70 entrants being accepted. The closest coming from inside River Oaks Resident Artist community and the furthest coming from Portland, Oregon. All-in-all, 26 states are represented.  The two states with the most entrants—a tie between Texas and Louisiana with eight entries each—are joined by others coming from anywhere between Connecticut (two artists) to California (one artist).


“With nearly 150 mugs featured, this is probably one of the highest concentrations of clay talent in the South outside of a pottery convention,” says Dauzat. “From functional to decorative mugs and over 100 artists represented, this show has something for everyone.” The opening reception for the mug show is scheduled for April 22nd and will also mark the last day of a three-day series of classes taking place at River Oaks entitled “Three Day Clay Play”, featuring Guest Juror Kristen Kieffer with her workshop “Altered and Ornamented”. Kieffer’s workshop sold out in mid-March and is followed by a day of demonstrations and activities on Friday, April 22nd, when Kieffer is joined by equally renowned potters Randy Brodnax, Billy Ray Mangham, Carl Block, Kym Owens, and Nathan Portnoy.


Friday’s demonstration will begin with “Breakfast with Brodnax” from 9:00am to 10:00am, when Randy Brodnax serves up biscuits and pottery advice. A series of demonstrations will be available from 10:00am until noon and 4:00pm until 6:00pm, where some of the most talented throwers and hand-builders in the South will show off their craft. From 2:00pm to 4:00pm a Glow Worm & Raku Firing event will offer firing of vessels for visitors. The day will end with the opening reception and awards ceremony from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.


“We’ve had pottery enthusiasts calling from most of the surrounding states to sign up for classes or take part in the event. It’s been a remarkable success,” adds Aubrey Bolen, Artistic Director.   “Alexandria is fortunate to have this much talent participate in an event which not only showcases their work but allows the public to take part in demo’s and classes.”


In addition to classes and the mug show, an invitational “Friends of River Oaks” exhibition will be on display in the Galerie des Amis and Stokes-Harris Galleries as an additional mug component.  The 2nd Annual Dirty South exhibitions and related events are sponsored by GAEDA and Ugly Mug Marketing.


River Oaks SquareSave the date for this year’s Men Who Cook & Men Who Mix.  This crowd-favorite, culinary classic is scheduled for May 21st and tickets are currently on sale for $50.00 per person and reserved tables $500 (seat ten).  Over thirty stations and 70 chefs will be featured in this 16th Annual taste-testing event.


For more information, contact River Oaks at (318) 473-2670, visit us on the web at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.