Penny Abraham, Laura Gates & Sarah Thacker

01 September 2017 To 14 October 2017

Opening Reception: September1, 5-7pm

Bolton-Davis Gallery:

Penny Abraham

Stokes-Harris Gallery:

Sarah Thacker

Galerie Des Amis:

Laura Gates

 October7: Mixed Media Workshop with Penny Abraham (GAEDA Education Series)

Three incredibly talented women are rocking the art world this September – they are local artist, Penny Abraham, our very own Laura Gates and Texas based artist, Sarah Thacker. All three will be featured in exhibitions within the Bolton Davis Gallery, Gallerie des Amis and the Stokes-Harris Gallery respectively.       

Other than being a mixed-media aficionado, Penny Abraham is possibly best known for her role as the former Art Educator at Alexandria Country Day School, a position she held for nearly twenty years.  Currently the Art Educator at Louisiana Special Education Center, Abraham continues to serve as an advocate for the arts, her craft and the art community a whole, instructing accomplished minds of all ages including those of our impressionable youth.  She has served as a mentor artist for River Oaks’ Annual Van Gogh Gala on numerous occasions, challenging each of her students to find his or her ‘inner artist”.

Mixed media assemblages composed of acrylics, watercolors, inks, gold leaf, clay, glass, metal, wood, found objects, vintage jewelry and recyclables, are her specialty. “Not being confined to one medium allows my inner artist’s voice to guide me in the creative process,” says Abraham. “I find inspiration in the color and patterns of the work of Matisse and Nevelson’s assemblages of wood, finials and spindles.”

Penny’s work is prominently displayed in numerous private and public collections throughout Louisiana, with her work also being recognized on a national level. She is frequently commissioned to create unique pieces of art, such as the ornament representing the Louisiana 5th Congressional District for the White House Christmas tree in 2008. Her exhibition entitled “Something Old – Something New: Eclectic Blends” is paired with an exclusive Mixed Media Workshop, which will take place on October 7 from 10:30am-4:30pm. (Limited availability)

Under Abraham’s expert tutelage, students will create a mixed media assemblage on an old door or found wooden board, using interesting lines within the found piece to embellish its’ character and charm. Works will be decorated with a variety of additional wooden shapes, layered with paint and adorned with pieces like broken jewelry, beads, wire, glass etc. A perfect setting for shabby- chic lovers or to commemorate treasured items into a masterpiece.

Laura Gates exhibition entitled “Horizon” displays her move from controlled representational work with impressionistic leanings into more fluid representational work with greater abstraction. Gates, a River Oaks Resident Artist for nearly three years, interprets her personal experiences in the wild of her natural landscapes, exploring connections and meanings between humans and their histories and the built environment in other paintings. She believes that humans retain a primal connection with the spaces we occupy, but that many people do not recognize their importance. “To me, most of us would benefit in stopping, observing, and exploring the complexity, wonder and magnificence of the world around us,” says Gates. Her work captures place with fleeting light and environmental sensations, which she conveys in canvas and paint.

Rounding out the exhibition feature is “Art Quilts That Tell A Story” by Frankston, Texas artist Sarah Thacker. A life-long artist who loves to tell a story using fiber art as the vehicle, her quilts show combinations of hand dyed fabrics, fabric collage,  paint and colorful threads that weave stories and memories from her past.

Also upcoming in September is a class with resident artist Carole Steele entitled “Gourdage” – taking place Saturday, September 23 OR Saturday, September 30 (One day class offered on two separate occasions) from 10 am - 4 pm. This seasonal hand-building class will allow students to focus on pumpkin and gourd forms, creating vessels of their choice ranging from teapots, bowls, cups, jars and more. Students can leave the class with a few intricate pieces or multiple pieces utilizing special forms coupled with hand-building techniques.

All three shows will be featured from September 1 thru October 15, 2017. The opening reception for all three exhibitions is scheduled for Friday, September 1st from 5-7 pm. The reception is open to the public, free of charge.  Sponsors are GAEDA along with Evelyn & Ralph Sisco. For more information on classes and features, please call River Oaks at 318-473-2670.

PS: THE VAN GOGH GALA IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!!! Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 28 from 7 pm until.  Tickets $65 per person.  Reserved tables $750 (seat 10/limited).  Sponsored by Rapides Regional Medical Center and Red River Bank. Prepare yourself for A Gothic Evening on the Bayou with live and silent auctions, fortune telling and don’t forget to don your favorite costume for this festive community favorite!  



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