06 February 2018
Exhibitions as unique as the Mardi Gras itself
February is here already and with it comes Mardi Gras, Louisiana’s native treasures that is an experience like no other. So it makes sense that the exhibitions coming to River Oaks in the Month of Mardi Gras are centered around the unique experiences of the artists themselves.
Leading the charge is an exhibition entitled “Little World Within” by Colorado-based artist Katrina Szyszkoski. Katrina has an attraction to broken Hellenistic stone sculpture, American Colonial folk art and all things miniature. However, the main inspiration for her art, which centers on the female face and figure, doesn’t come from the foothills of the rockies, but from years living and traveling in Japan, where she was surrounded by the uniqueness and ambiguity of contemporary Japanese art and craft. Her mixed media figurative sculptures evoke a sense of daintiness, dreaminess, playfulness and absurdity, often with a touch of melancholy surrounding them.
River Oaks’ very own James Aubrey Bolen, III displays his exhibition entitled “On Trail” in the Galerie des Amis, with his paintings that are inspired by the Wild Azalea Trail, located in Kisatchie National Forest. This trail is divided into 6 segments and has different vegetation communities through out the 24-mile trail. The paintings will depict a biome from each segment. “I tried to bring out the multitude of colors that are present in nature by using multiple layers of acrylic paint, applied with a pallet knife,” says Bolen, who is also the Artistic Director at River Oaks. “I hope that this show will inspire others to see the beauty of our local National Forest.”
“My Southern Vernacular” by Lacey Johnson Andrews in the Stokes-Harris brings to River Oaks a self-described Louisiana native with strong southern roots and a lifelong passion for creating art. “I am a Southern mixed media artist with a knack for whimsy and fun! My paintings are designed as an escape from the ordinary, the chance to live playfully through imagery,” says Andrews. “A deep-seated passion for interiors, floral design and Louisiana cuisine play a huge role in the development of my pieces, leading each piece to act as a ‘Southern party on a wall.’”
Also in the Stokes-Harris Gallery will be the Outreach Project 2017 featuring students from Matthews Memorial Health Care Center & Naomi Heights Nursing Home under instruction JoAnne K. Thompson (Matthews Memorial) & Cyndi Menton (Naomi Heights). The Project highlights the therapeutic and invigorating effects that the creative arts can have in nursing home settings.
The exhibition dates are February 16 - March 24, 2018, with an Opening Reception set for Friday, Feb. 16 from 5-7 pm. A Studio Spotlight during the Opening Reception will feature Carole Steele & Cyndi Menton. Exhibit Sponsors are GAEDA, Louisiana Charities Trust and Central Management Company.
Artist Katrina Szyszkoski will also present a GAEDA-sponsored Figurative Clay Sculptures titled "Little World Within" on Wednesday, February 14 & Thursday, Feb. 15 where students will be guided in creating fun, clay/mixed media figurative sculptures, experimenting with limitless design elements of the media. They will play, experiment and get a feel for how the clay works while sculpting, curing, painting and finally embellishing a face, figure or any other imaginative creature of their choice. Students are encouraged to bring small found objects for embellishing i.e., twigs, wire, buttons, bits of textile etc.