River Oaks is turning 35 – and it will be epic!

08 January 2019

River Oaks is turning 35 – and it will be epic!

In 1979, the Bolton Family donated their family home to the City of Alexandria in an agreement it would be used solely for the arts – and what an awesome journey it has been so far. River Oaks has since served as the home and launch pad for hundreds of artists and has introduced tens of thousands of people in Central Louisiana to visual arts and fine crafts.

"River Oaks welcomes thousands of visitors of all ages every year," says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. "From outreach and community art pro jects to public art, we work hard to make art accessible to every person that wants to be involved. We also have over 30 artists in residence and feature artists from across the country in exhibitions and classes every year. Our 35 Year Anniversary leaves us reflecting on our humble beginnings and look into a bright future as we stand on the shoulders of giants in the field of community leadership."

Since we will be celebrating our 35th year, this is a great time to be a member at River Oaks, helping the 2019 Exhibition Lineup to be as stellar as it can possibly be:

The year starts with Andrew Jackson Pollock, a New Orleans based glass artist and teacher, and his sculptural and functional creations from February 15 - March 30. Then it will already be time for the 5th Annual Dirty South Cup Call featuring Guest Juror Doug Peltzman from April 5 - May 25, 2019. Peltzman is known for pottery that is able to tell a story and serve as a conduit for conversation, interaction, and celebration. He creates utilitarian objects to bring focus to the intimate intersection between art and life and will be teaching classes April 10-11.

After we turn River Oaks into a  Culinary Epicenter for our Annual Men Who Cook and Men Who Mix Event on May 18, we will go full-speed ahead into the Resident Artists Annual Summer Show from May 31 - August 10, 2019. This is of course one of our most popular exhibitions where we make sure we display the proudest works of our own artists in residence every year. The Summer Arts Studio 2019 with Kimberly Brannon in residence will again produce an unmatched visual arts summer camp with four sessions, the results of which can be viewed during the Summer Art Studio Students Show on August 17, 2019 from 4-5pm.

Next up is New Yorker Nancy Susaneck who will bring her ever-changing journey with clay to Central Louisiana August 30 - September 28. Susaneck says ‘finding new purposes for items that were once discarded or just needing some new glory, stretches the way we think of an objects purpose and looking at it in a new light keeps ones imagination alive.’

Julie Crews, an oil painter who originally hails from Asheville, NC, and now lives in Ruston, will be featured in an exhibition October 4 - November 9. She offers the viewer through painting in oils, a remote glimpse into her personal life, exposing the delicacy of monotony and repetition in regard to domestic affairs and how she chooses to see a beautiful life amidst the mundane. The Annual Van Gogh Gala will again be a creatively-themed extravaganza sure to delight every one of the 500+ guests on November 2.  River Oaks’ largest annual event will conjure the spirit of Vincent Van Gogh for an evening of phenomenal art and fundraising at its finest.  

Our next 5x5x5 Show National Call with Guest Juror Alex Beard will be closing out the year on a powerful high note that shows how much creativity can be packed into small packages. The show will be on display November 15, 2019 - February 15, 2020. Beard says he likes to ‘create and then try to solve visual puzzles, looking for whimsy and humor -albeit sometimes a little dark - in everything.’ Finally the Annual Porch Sale on December 7 will feature Guest Artist Nippy Blair, along with live demos and art from dozens of resident, local and regional artists alike.

Like we said in the beginning, our birthday year will be epic, and we hope that you can make all or at least some of the exhibitions, exhibition openings, classes and fundraisers – because River Oaks Square is ultimately YOUR arts center. All we ask from you in return is to love and admire the arts a little. It’s worth it.

For more information, call River Oaks at 318-473-2670, visit or find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 




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