Community 'guest' artists are paired with a Mentor Artist (River Oaks Resident Artist or local artist from the community) to collectively work on a masterpiece which will be included in an exciting live auction on the evening of the Gala. The Van Gogh Gala is River Oak's premiere fund-raising event and an exciting social occasion, where we celebrate the unique and vital relationship between great artists and great patrons. “Each year, we eagerly anticipate what each featured artists will showcase! These exclusive pieces find their way into a high-spirited live auction, where attendees vie for these additions to their current collections,” adds Rachel Dauzat, Van Gogh fundraiser coordinator for over 15 years. “The Gala has a systemic element as we have had quite a few guest artists permanently discover their artistic side. However, the one-of-a-kind pieces created for this one-night-only-event is the true crowd pleaser!”
While the art takes center stage, the Van Gogh Gala is known for it's elaborate costumes donned by the evening's attendees... because its not just the artwork that's creative!
The 2017 Gala will center its festivities around the mysticism of the Louisiana Bayou, winding its way through the rich history and traditional folklore depictive of Southern Louisiana. Combining the tales of Marie Laveau with that of the Rougaroux, adding Feufollets fires in the swamp that may lead you home or down a road of mischief and doom, into an evening of 19th Century Gothic masquerade. Visions of women in black corsets and long dresses, men donning dark, dapper coats and debonair hats. Dark, misty swamps, old abandoned houses, the majestic cypress with its mossy draping and of course the spookiness of the tales of old. The lone cry of an owl ... perhaps a spoonbill nevermore. The phantom of Edgar Allan Peaux or something more sinister? Or just an enjoyably dark version of the always evolving and ever popular Van Gogh Gala at River Oaks.
2017 Guest Artists: Caroline Simons, Camille Jackson, Ashley Liotta, Dr. Betsy Long, Lynn Sanders, Kyle Downs Drerup, Representative Lance Harris, Eric Lord, Dana Brunson, Roni Kessel, Deborah Randolph, Dixie Johnson, Frances Morrow, Julia Welch, Carla Guillory, Kristy Flynn, Dr. Wilton Guillory, Jamie Yeager, Jerry Havens, Dylan Rasch, Rabbi Raina Siorty, Bradley Drell, Julia Callis, Becky Bartlett, Sandy Patton, Dr. Lindsay Robichaux, Bobby Fields, Jessica Thacker and Evelyn Jones.
Mentor Artists 2017: Aubrey Bolen, Penny Abraham, Leah Morace, Tony Martin, Barry Owen, JoAnne K. Thompson, Laura Gates, Krista Redmond, Karen Morrow, Rhonda Reap-Curiel, Tish Fresh, Carole Steele, Denise Lott, Janet Ahrens, Jonathan Moore, Susan Corbyn, Lindsay Moore, LaDonna Hargis, Michael Elliott-Smith and Shannon Kojis Fender.
A Gothic Evening on the Bayou will set the tone for the evening's festivities which will include exciting live and silent auctions, hors d'oeuvres, an open bar and of course, one of a kind art. A community favorite for over 25 years and counting, the gala celebrates our community's most visionary arts enthusiasts!
The event will sell out so purchase your tickets early by calling the River Oaks office at 318-473-2670. $65 per person or $750 reserved tables (limited). Live music with Dane Ervin! One night only on the 28th day of Octobre anno 2017 - we can't wait to see you there!
The Van Gogh Gala 2017 is presented by Rapides Regional Medical Center, Red River Bank and Alexandria Pediatric Dentistry.
Of course we can’t talk about the upcoming fall excitement without mentioning the exhibitions starting October 20 at River Oaks. Leading the cadre of artists in this round is Sue Zimmerman with her exhibition entitled “Catch the Vision” in the Bolton-Davis Gallery. Sue began painting in watercolor for fun, learning the techniques of watercolor from a local artist after she spent a childhood knowing she had talent but never pursuing it. After raising four sons, she took a more serious approach to art and has been exhibiting her work professionally since 1999. Her artwork is part of many public and private art collections in the US and has been accepted into several juried shows in Texas and Louisiana, many times receiving awards. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Lake Charles Mayor’s Art Award for Artist of the Year. “I paint primarily with watercolor. I emphasize ‘with’ because it’s like a partnership, a give and take relationship. The watercolor seems to have a personality of its own….it goes where it wants to go on the paper! But as I have learned the properties of watercolor, I have learned to take control of the flow of the paint and also take advantage of the “surprises” it gives me on the paper. After painting with watercolor for over 20 years, I’m still getting those surprises. That’s the joy of the medium.” Zimmerman will also conduct a workshop on landscapes and composition as part of the ongoing GAEDA Education Series with a focus on design principles to compose any artwork. Students will paint a landscape together in watercolor as Zimmerman demonstrates how these principles can be applied. In addition, students are encouraged to bring reference photos or sketches that they plan to use for a future painting.
Rhonda Reap-Curiel, a mixed media artist who has been in residency at River Oaks for over ten years, will be presenting her exhibition “Visions” in the Gallerie des Amis. Working in photography, oil, charcoal, acrylic, glass, iron and mixed media, she holds two degrees from Tulane, neither of which is in art. Her contemporary pieces are inspired by music, nature, light, and movement while her traditional work captures the essence of Louisiana. Always searching for the drama of the subject, she sees beyond the surface beauty or ugliness to something that stirs her soul. Through her art, she challenges the voyeur and expresses a freedom from the daily restraints of traditional work.
Rounding out this showcase is Louisiana artist Morgan Lasyone in the Stokes Harris Gallery. Morgan grew up in a small town in Louisiana where artists were seen as "crazy"… and that sounded good enough to her. Morgan paints from her heart and she paints things that keep her "sane" in alot of ways. "When I wake up in the morning, the first thought in my head is paint," says the artist who believes that “paint” is her second blood. In many way, painting has saved my life. Her exhibition is entitled “Southern Vivant: A Colorful Past"
All three shows are sponsored by GAEDA. An Opening Reception is scheduled for Friday, October 20th, 5-9 pm and will coincide with Downtown ArtWalk. The featured Studio Spotlight during the opening reception will showcase Sheila Soileau White (Studio 214 ) & Karen Morrow (Studio 204 ). Exhibition Dates: October 20 - November 11, 2017
Need more information? Contact our offices, 318-473-2670, visit us on the web www.riveroaksartscenter.com and/or find us on FaceBook.