Landscapes, The Art of Serenity
Forever Wild’ in the Bolton-Davis Gallery is artist Cat Pope’s first featured exhibition with River Oaks, but Pope is no stranger to the importance of bringing art programming to the community. Her firm belief that art is for everyone means that it is in the classroom that Pope feels the most at home, which makes her a
great fit for the arts center. Her workshops regularly sell out whether she teaches close to her home in Alabama or when she takes the teaching on the road as a guest instructor.
“No matter the age or skill level, creativity is a powerful tool for connection, inspiration, and positive change,” says Pope. “I am proud to partner with River Oaks Square Arts Center in efforts to keep the arts thriving in Alexandria.”
“Cat Pope is not only an astoundingly talented artist, she is dedicated to her personal mission of bringing art to the community that mirrors what River Oaks does in Central Louisiana for over thirty-five years,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. “Cat is a terrific fit as an artist and instructor and we are looking forward to having her share her knowledge and talent.”
As a contemporary impressionist painter, Pope is madly in love with color relationships, dramatic energy, and confident brushwork. “I love a great adventure,” says the Florida-native, “and I am continually enchanted by color and its power to translate atmosphere. My work explores the coastal lifestyle, past and present, with the soul of a simpler, romanticized era. There are so many adventures just waiting to take place.”
Resident artist Margie Tate presents ‘Open Air / Plein Air’ in the Galerie des Amis. “Most of my work is landscape and I try to paint plein air as much as possible,” says Tate. “My observation and kinship with nature has inspired much of my work and I am also inspired by my observation and kinship with actual paint during the process. I love the endless possibilities of paint.”
Tate is an impressionistic and intuitive painter considering each piece individually as a one-of-a-kind. Her work constantly evolves and she feels that maturing as an artist is a lifetime process. “Over the past 40 years, I have extensively experimented with and explored the unique qualities of each of the different painting media: oil, watercolor, acrylic and pastel,” continues Tate. “Experience I gained from each has enriched the experience and application of the others.”
Rounding out the October lineup is local photographer John Gunter in the Stokes-Harris Gallery with his exhibition titled ‘Sobriety Shots’ featuring ethereal sunrises, sunsets and
images that capture the beautiful essence of Central Louisiana. While most people know John as a local chef and restauranteur, he is also an accomplished photographer. A few people have been privy to viewing his exceptional work via social media but never have these photographs actually been viewed in a series or collective area.
“These are a collection of photographs that I’ve captured,” says Gunter. “Moments of everyday life that we are surrounded by but are usually too busy to see. We have to get away from distractions and enjoy our surroundings. Through sobriety, I have been able to see and enjoy these moments more clearly and now I am able to share them.”
“For our October-exhibitions we are seeing a fascinating juxtaposition of techniques,” adds Dauzat. “Three artists with their unique individual methods of connecting with their surroundings. While Cat Pope works in oil using post-impressionist and contemporary realist techniques, we will see Margie Tate taking a plein air approach that became a central feature of French impressionism. Fast forward a few hundred years and you have John Gunter freezing a serene moment in time with his camera.”
Cat Pope will also be on hand for a GAEDA-sponsored workshop titled Imaginative Landscapes on Sept. 29-30 from 10am-4pm. The technique driven workshop will teach students how to breathe modern life into the classic landscape subject! Pope will take students on a journey into effective composition, strong color harmony and lots of textural effects in their oil paintings while working in the Alla Prima (wet into wet) tradition.
The workshop is open to students of all levels working in oil, with instructor demonstrations each day and lots of class working time and discussion. The fee is $95 per person and availability is extremely limited.
An opening reception has been scheduled for October 1 from 5-7pm. The reception is free and open to the public (masks required). All three shows will run through November 6, 2021. Sponsored by: GAEDA, Beck Crowell Memorial and the Betsy Long Memorial Fund. For more information about the exhibitions, workshops or upcoming events, contact River Oaks at 318-473-2670, visit RiverOaksArtsCenter.com or follow River Oaks Arts Center on Facebook and Instagram.