While our staff and artists are staying home, art goes on. Maybe, as it has for centuries during trying times, it even flourishes - we see many of our artists creating from their homes during the extra time that we all have. For River Oaks, the shutdown has also meant making some difficult decisions for our creative corner of the world.
The first was to move our 6th Annual Dirty South Cup Call & Exhibition to a purely virtual platform. The opening reception which was slated for April 3rd has been canceled, but we are working diligently to feature this amazing show in a new format for home-bound audiences. This show is many-months-in-the-making and it's an exceptional feature - over 160 entries and 85 selections have created a breathtaking lineup of artists, talent, and incredible cups this year! While we are heartbroken we can’t feature it in its physical form at the Arts Center, we are thankful this call is poised for an online exhibition. We will let the opportunity propel us into our first virtual showing ever! Once all 81 accepted entries are uploaded, we will share a link on our website and via social media channels in the hopes that cup lovers from Louisiana and throughout the world virtually tour this showing of ceramics excellence. Over 165 entries from all across the U.S. were received for this National Artists Call.
“If there were ever a show exceptionally well-suited for an online platform, it would be the Dirty South Cup Call & Exhibition,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. “We utilize an online adjudication system for entries into this National Call and have worked tirelessly with our industry partners to be able to deliver an online feature that can be viewed from mobile devices or with limited connectivity. It is my hope that this avenue bring some light and enjoyment into the lives of our patrons and ceramic enthusiasts everywhere.”
Our 2020 Dirty South Guest Juror is Deb Schwartzkopf, a Seattle based studio potter, instructor, author of Creative Pottery and owner of Rat City Studios (http://ratcitystudios.com). As a studio artist her goal is to make fabulous tableware that infuses life with purposeful beauty. The studio practice she has established provides a vehicle for her to continually learn about material, connect with community, and create intersections between ephemeral ideas and functional forms. The two-day workshop featuring Deb Schwartzkopf has been rescheduled for December 19 & 20.
Best in Show -- James Kelly “Mod Mug” - Denver, CO
5 - Jurors Choice Designations
Maddie Fowler “Mug” - Kalamazoo, MI
Stephen Ruby “Pink Arum Mug” - Oakland, CA
Jacob Meer “JMeer3" - Minneapolis, MN
Rebecca Lowery “Black and Vanilla Cup and Saucer” - Bloomington, IN
Caleb Zouhary “CZouhary3" - Chagrin Falls, OH
The show link will go live on Friday, April 3rd, the original opening date for the show.
The 2020 Dirty South Exhibition is sponsored by: GAEDA, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.
“It is also with a heavy heart that River Oaks Board and Staff have decided to postpone the 20th Annual Men Who Cook Fundraiser until later in the year,” Dauzat continues. “Over the next month our planning committees will work through logistics as we fully expect to have an alternate date soon. Men Who Cook has been a staple for both our organization and the community as a whole since the year 2000 - it represents the coming together of people through the celebration of culinary and visual art, important staples of culture especially in Louisiana.”
The event was initially slated for May 16. “While teams have been preparing since 2019, we fully expect to see recipes that are a little more refined and wine that has been aged for a few extra months - making for an event like no other,” says Dauzat. Champion teams are eager to take on the competition, especially for an anniversary year celebration.
Also important to note, we are still accepting registrations for Summer Art Studio. Our Camp Staff is currently planning to move forward with our summer schedule. Tuition payments are simply being held as we monitor changing events. “We are still planning for campers to have an amazing experience in the studios here at the Art Center,” says Camp Director Aubrey Bolen. “Sessions are filling up, staff is gearing up and our hopes are high that we will be able to proceed as scheduled!” Summer Art Studio Sessions begin June 8 and for an application to the program please visit www.riveroaksartscenter.com. Applications are currently being accepted by regular mail (River Oaks Arts Center 1330 Second Street Alexandria, LA 71301) or you may email email@example.com.