Strong Fundraising and Stronger Women

29 September 2020

Strong Fundraising and Stronger Women

October is exciting at River Oaks in numerous ways - as we prepare for two virtual fundraising events ‘The Show Must Van Gogh On’ and ‘The Essence of Van Gogh,’ we also get to watch the sweltering heat give way to a touch of fall weather, and we are looking forward to exhibitions by three women that are each creative dynamos in their own right. Traci Stover, Maria Manneman and Carol Thibodeaux exhibit in the Bolton-Davis Gallery, the Galerie des Amis and the Stokes-Harris Gallery respectively from October 2 to November 7, 2020.

Stover is well known for her paintings, drawings and relief prints that explore forms that are meaningful to her on both a narrative and structural level. They include eyes, bugs, flowers, rocks, and bones - and her stunning paintings of eyes will be featured in her exhibition titled ‘Portraits Through Eyes,’ exploring the relationship between the image, medium and compositional structure. “Her exquisitely executed and intimately up close paintings of eyes lead to an almost visceral response in the viewer,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. “The eyes are a reflection of the spirit, an old saying goes - and in this case, you can’t help but connect to that spirit.”

Stover, was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi and now teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned a B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and an M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing at The American University in Washington D.C. Drawing inspiration from Flemish artists Jan van Eyck and Roger van der Weyden, she combines their use of oil paints and mirrors and lenses with modern technology and point of view. “I use oil paint, which is traditional, and acrylic, which is modern,” says Stover. “The image is transferred to the surface using the traditional method of gridding, but it was created using the modern technology of a digital camera instead of mirrors and glass lenses.”

Maria Manemann will be featured with her exhibition titled "Synthesis, A Study" in the Galerie des Amis. Manemann’s style can be described as impressionistic - her paintings and studies always have a subject matter, but it is used only as the starting place. With bold, primary colors blended straight on the canvas, her brushstrokes are often in partnership with color and treated almost as calligraphy, with energy and expression. Her studies combine two or more distinct forms or figures and melds them in an effort to express a new form that is all and neither, some taking on an unexpected new life.

Manemann graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University. She has donated work to various fundraisers, LBP’s Art and Travel Auction and is also represented in local businesses and the Alexandria Museum of Art.  She has been a resident artists at River Oaks Arts Center for over ten years.  

Carol Thibodeaux with "Fins, Feathers & Friends" rounds out the exhibition lineup for October in the Stokes-Harris Gallery. Carol lives in a 100+ year old Acadian house near the banks of the Amite River in the Village of St. George, surrounded by inspiration in her rural environment. Her whimsical sculptures and iconic creations are often made from gourds or painted on wood panels, and she has even developed a method of painting on window screen which she calls Cajun stained glass. The freedom of being a folk artist allows her to overcome the obstacle of having no formal training in art and to absolutely work with the heart and soul of the project at hand. Carol exhibits her work at art shows, markets, festivals and galleries throughout the south, is in collections and homes in many states and countries. She served on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Crafts Guild and the Louisiana Gourd Society.

Exhibition sponsors are Beck & Dick Crowell and GAEDA with an exhibition opening scheduled for Friday, October 2nd 5-7 pm.  Masks required.  

Stover will also be on hand to teach a workshop as part of the GAEDA Education Series. “Portraits Through Eyes - A Workshop” will take place Thursday, Friday October 1 & 2 and is geared toward intermediate to advanced artists. The cost is $50 per person with a supply list available upon registration.

The two-day workshop will highlight blending traditional glazing methods with modern image making. Using printed images to guide the development of acrylic paintings, participants will loosely follow a grid using 4 basic pigments to achieve all the colors needed within the painting. Students will go step by step from drawing grids and loosely laying out compositions to gradually building up multiple layers of transparent pigments. Developing paintings much in the same way as Renaissance artists used oil glazing.

For more information on exhibitions and our virtual fundraising efforts, call 318-473-2670, visit or look us up on Facebook at River Oaks Arts Center.



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