Opening Reception 5-7pm - Aune, Voorhies & Havens
Exhibition Dates September 30-November 5, 2022
As summer gives way to fall with hopefully less rain and lower temperatures, River Oaks is abuzz with preparations for the upcoming exhibitions featuring Cindy Aune, Amber Voorhies and Jerry Havens.
Leading the charge in the Bolton-Davis Gallery is renowned artist Cindy Aune with her exhibition titled “Conversations.” Aune grew up in southern Louisiana and Mississippi, and even at a young age was always coloring and drawing. She graduated with a BA from the University of Mississippi and began painting large scale fine art after she retired from her own business in 2010.
“As an experimental artist, I know that change is inevitable both in art and life,” says Aune. ”I have given myself and my work the freedom to develop its own voice, sometimes emotional, sometimes whimsical. It all depends on the mood of the day and maybe the weather. I love to paint when it’s cold and rainy.”
“I paint from my imagination, abstracting figures, faces and forms,” Aune continues. “My inspiration may be a photo, a person passed on the street, or one of my dogs. Anything can spark my creative process. I imagine the piece and begin to problem solve before taking it to the canvas. I sketch on the canvas, often allowing the rough sketch to show through to the finished surface. I paint quickly, using unconventional materials to manipulate the acrylic pigments. This technique creates a loose, unconstructed painting inviting the viewer to look beneath the surface for hidden elements and movement.”
Meanwhile, resident artist Amber Voorhies will exhibit “Light Travel” in the Galerie des Amis. Amber grew up making art at her grandparents’ kitchen table in the prairies of South Louisiana, where she could see an endless expanse of rice fields and some of the world’s most beautiful skies. She says she is inspired by repeating patterns in nature and in human and animal behavior, and by deep metaphors of life that can’t be described with words.
“Art has always been a primary way to encourage brave decision-making in my students and my children,” says Voorhies. “I believe that art makes humans powerful and that in some ways, it has the power to heal. I find never-ending inspiration from my horse friends and how they interact with humans, each other, and with the earth.” Be sure to look for two tiny stars hidden in her work- two tiny lights which represent a connection between the artist, the viewer, and those things that we all are working to connect, such as time, family, ideals, or dreams to whatever has to be done to make them real. They also stand for connections that exist outside of time: love, and the love between souls on earth and souls that have moved on. Amber says her work never feels complete until they are there.
Finally, Jerry Havens presents his exhibition titled “Fridge Worthy” in the Stokes-Harris Gallery. Havens has been involved in the arts for quite a while, beginning with voice acting; he later moved into television as a videographer and subsequently into theatre acting for almost every theatre group in central Louisiana. Having picked up a paintbrush for the first time during a beginner class in June of 2017, he quickly fell in love with watercolor. Growing up surrounded by Kisatche National Forest, Jerry’s art reflects his love of all things Louisiana, its wildlife, culture, and more specifically, its birds. Still trying to find his “style”, he is quick to experiment with all media and techniques, but his first love will always be watercolor.
“In Louisiana, the kitchen is a focal point. All gatherings tend to revolve around it,” says Havens. “At gatherings, everyone ends up clustered in the kitchen, laughing and talking. As a kid, when you would bring home a piece of art that you did in school, and your mom or dad would hang it on the fridge, it was sure to be seen by everyone. It’s our first art show, in a very exclusive gallery. Every painting I do, I strive for it to at least be ‘fridge worthy.’ I am truly honored to have people appreciate something I created, and I love it when someone wants to hang one of my paintings on their walls. But I’m OK if you just want to hang it on your fridge too.”
All three exhibitions will be on display from September 30 - November 5 and an exhibition opening reception has been scheduled for September 30 from 5-7 pm. The exhibition opening is sponsored by Louisiana “Feed Your Soul” and co-sponsored by GAEDA, Rapides Regional Medical Center, Red River Bank, and Captivate Minds Marketing.
Aune will also be on hand for an exclusive acrylic mixed media workshop titled “If At First” - the two-day workshop will take place September 28 & 29 - 10 am to 4 pm at River Oaks as part of the GAEDA Education Series.
“There is no right or wrong in this experimental workshop. It is an expression of your imagination offering unlimited inspiration and technique,” says Aune. “‘If At First’ you are not satisfied with your work, you will learn to paint over the parts you dislike, exposing hidden elements; always watching for un-noticed beauty to emerge. It is a fast-paced acrylic mixed media celebration, with several pieces completed. Acrylic mixed media will be our focus with a brief artist lecture and demo each morning. We will explore mixed media tips and tricks, while students dabble with texturing and abstractly painting an under-painting. Students will quick- sketch with concentration on darks and lights, along with loose applications and exploration of art materials - pushing their limits. Lots of layering and use of translucent pigments in this painting series where students will produce individual paintings with instructor assistance.”
Skill Level is beginner to advanced and the cost is $95 per person. A supply list will be given upon registration.
“We have a stellar lineup for September and October, but I absolutely have to mention that our Van Gogh Gala finally returns from its COVID hiatus,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. “Taking place on October 29 starting at 7 pm, the chosen theme for 2022 is Halloween Gone Retro. Think of spanning the decades from the '20s til the '80s … handmade costumes, paper mache headpieces, even the unbreathable masks from the '70s.”
Van Gogh tickets are $70 and are available via River Oaks board members and Eventbrite. A limited number of reserved tables is available at $750 for a table of 10.
For more information about exhibitions and classes or to purchase tickets for the Van Gogh Gala, please contact River Oaks at 318-473-2670, visit riveroaksartscenter.com
or find us under River Oaks Square Arts Center on Facebook.
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