River Oaks prepares for Summer as National Ceramics Exhibit continuesInaugural Dirty South Mug Call & Competition, Men Who Cook and Summer Arts Studio Downtown Arts CenterThe Inaugural Dirty South Mug Competition and Show, held since April at River Oaks Square Arts Center, displays mugs as true art. Over 125 entries were submitted via an online adjudication process and 89 mugs from 22 states were selected – the furthest entry comes from artist Hesheng Chen in Seattle, while the closest entry came from River Oaks very own Carole Steele. Guest Juror for the competition is nationally renowned potter Tom Coleman, who was also on hand for a two day demo session as part of the River Oaks Education Series sponsored by GAEDA. Considered by many potters as one of the best in the Nation, Tom has been featured in numerous galleries, and has both written and been the subject of much published review in his fifty years of ceramics. Tom prefers to work with porcelain and stoneware and has been part of the NCECA national clay conference for years as a lecturer and featured demonstrator.“The final exhibit features well over 100 mugs. We have already gained national recognition from other art centers across the U.S and broadened our artist base which was our ultimate goal. River Oaks has jumped on the national stage and made a huge impact and we could not be more proud,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director for River Oaks. “At the same time, we are of course gearing up for Men Who Cook and Men Who Mix at River Oaks, which is one of our two major fundraisers for the year. Tickets usually sell out in advance – I recommend buying them before the event, we do not want to turn away anyone at the door. We are looking forward to seeing our men and all the guests on May 16!”Rounding out the preparations for the upcoming summer months is all the planning for the popular Summer Arts Studio – River Oaks’ popular summer camp that also tends to sell out well in advance. “We have four fun-filled themed sessions again this year and the response has been incredible,” says Aubrey Bolen, River Oaks Artistic Director. “Two sessions are completely full with a waiting list already and the other two are filling up quickly. River Oaks is feeling the love!”The Mug Show remains on exhibit until May 23 and was made possible in part by GAEDA.