04 August 2020
August Exhibition & Fall Update
River Oaks is filled with the sounds of campers finishing up Summer Arts Studio and the occasional cricket and cicada as summer reigns in our little creative corner in downtown Alexandria. While the campers have been known to beat the heat with a little help from the Red River Bank Ice Cream Truck, the staff is busy getting ready for the next set of exhibitions that opens at the end of August.
Classically trained artist Masa Sasaki brings his incredible talent to the Bolton-Davis Gallery in a show titled ‘The Princess, the Alien and the Mind.’ Currently based in Atlanta, Sasaki is an accomplished pianist, award-winning painter, & uniquely stylistic potter. Since moving from his native Japan in the late 1980’s, he has amassed & impressed quite a fan following with his unique sense of precision & artistic vision. His ceramic works have been featured in exhibitions across the U.S. Sasaki obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY.
“We live in the world where we are surrounded by machine made and mass-produced goods today. I feel, as a contemporary craftsman, the need to validate the value of handmade items by making things that could not be easily duplicated and unique to my own artistic perspective,” says the artist. “For me it is not enough that a final piece be essentially functional and pleasant, it must also be lasting in its desirability for use. Long after I have ceased to be productive the pieces that I accomplish today should still be enjoyed, appreciated, and used. This is the elusive quality that brings value to functional art, the lasting character that transcends the artist and outlives him. Whether in my paintings, musical composition, sculpture or pottery I desire most of all that the usefulness and aesthetic appeal be both easily perceived, and lasting.”
For those interested in a hands-on class, Ceramics with Masa Sasaki will take place on August 27 & 28 from 10:30am to 4:00pm as part of the GAEDA Education Series. This two-day workshop will focus on working with dark stoneware clay. Day One will include wheel throwing and jar trimming with a recessed lid, along with various handle options while Day Two will pivot to surface design using simple shapes & various under-glaze colors along with colored slip. This is a technique-based workshop where pieces will be worked on but not completed/fired. The class is recommended for skill levels Intermediate to Advanced and the cost is $75 per student. Masks are required to attend this class. (River Oaks is monitoring local and state mandates and will issue full refunds should the class be canceled.)
Meanwhile, local artist Karen Morrow will be featured in the Gallerie des Amis with her exhibition ‘Don’t Clip My Wings’ showcasing some of the colorful innovative views on the world that make Karen a crowd favorite. “Art has been a huge part of my world my entire life. I can not remember not ever having a pencil or paint brush in my hand,” says Morrow. “Art is my addiction! I have explored Art in so many creative ways, from designing Christmas ornaments to painting wall murals.”
Rounding out the exhibition schedule will be Marshall Blevins, widely known as the brains behind the brush of the captivating Church Goin’ Mule painting series. “I’m a Southern artist and photographer, making it up as I go along,” says Blevins. “Struggled through art school but survived, not sure which direction to go in, but certain and rooted in bayou country. The paintings I make deal with personal mythology, religion, and the importance of place. I draw on my own memories growing up in the land of the pines, the memories of authors like Faulkner and Hurston, and the vivid works of numerous folk artists.” From its autumn 2015 social media debut, the Church Goin’ Mule has appeared in “Southern Outsider Art” pieces designed to illuminate forgotten or overlooked snapshots of our past and River Oaks is honored to bring part of the culture of the Lafayette-based artist to Alexandria.
An opening reception has been scheduled for August 29 from 5-7pm at River Oaks. Masks are required to attend and we ask attendees to RSVP by August 25 by calling (318) 473-2670. The exhibitions will also be available online at riveroaksvirtualexhibitions.com
A brief note for the fall social calendar...
Our board and staff have also been working on plans for the Fall, including our Annual Van Gogh Gala fundraiser, in hopes we would be able to devise a possible avenue allowing the Arts Center to proceed in hosting the event. “After much consideration, our Van Gogh Planning Committee and River Oaks Board of Directors have decided to cancel the 2020 Van Gogh Gala,” says Executive Director Rachael Dauzat. “The event requires months of planning which include a multitude of collaborations and under the current mandates/restrictions, we simply cannot execute such a large-scale event during these uncertain times. Don't fret, we will be back better than ever during 2021!! You, our creative community and committed supporters, continue to be our constant source of inspiration! We can't wait to celebrate the ARTS with you again!” Please look for our online art auction which will be available come September.
For more information on exhibitions and classes, call River Oaks at 318-473-2670 or visit River Oaks Square Arts Center on Facebook.