47th Annual River Road Show - 2016

A National Juried Exhibition

Takin' the Shortcut, Jane Flowers, RRS First Place 2015

September 6 - September 28, 2016

Reception: September 22, 5:30-7:30pm

DEADLINE EXTENDED
JULY 13, 2016

Judged by Bill Farnsworth


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Current Theatre Exhibit

Old Masters Members Show

May 12 - July 14

Reception on June 5

Independence Park Theatre

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Oyster Gatherers of Cancale by Annette Melancon after John Singer Sargent

Featured Artist

Laura Allums Mitchell - interviewed by Trish Poynot

Laura Mitchell headshot

Laura Mitchell was born in Ellisville, Mississippi, a small junior college town located between Laurel Hattiesburg MS. If she could live anywhere in the world, it would be on the beach!

Laura was always interested in drawing, coloring and creating, even as a child. Both of her parents were artists, as well as her four sisters. All were encouraged to follow their artistic interests. When Laura was in the 5th grade, she realized she had a special talent for drawing and put together a sketchbook of the fowl and fauna of southern Mississippi as a science project. From then on her parents and teachers encouraged her to pursue this talent. When Laura entered junior high (which was located on the junior college campus), she was allowed to study art with the junior college art teacher. From then on she wanted to paint and knew that she would major in art in college.

untitled by Laura Mitchell

Laura graduated from Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi) with a BA in Fine Art, and realized she was extremely well educated to do nothing! Reality set in when she realized she had better find some means of supporting herself. She moved to New Orleans and worked in fashion and retailing for a while. The Space Program opened at Michoud and she worked for the Boeing Company as a Graphic Artist for several years. When Laura and her husband moved to St. Tammany Parish, she became an elementary school teacher and continued in education for the remainder of her working career as a teacher, administrator and principal. However, Laura placed a strong emphasis on the arts throughout her educational career. She always knew that she would return to her first love of painting when she retired.

Laura had a brief encounter with watercolor when she was in college, but was more interested in oil. Upon retirement, she began to study watercolor and fell in love with it. She took classes with several local artists, and then attended the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art where she studied with Auseklis Ozols, Darrell Brown, Janet Urrate and Martha Guthrie. It was with Martha that Laura finally found herself and began to paint in earnest.

untitled by Laura Mitchell

Laura loves to paint florals and still lifes, the more detailed and intricate the happier she is. She focuses on the reflections in silver, stainless, or any other reflective surface, as well as the distortions and refractions of light through glass. She is intrigued with the abstract patterns created. Her subjects include the mixing of patterned fabrics, crystal or glass, reflective surfaces, fruits or flowers, and any other object that will help her to tell her story. Most of the time, she begins with the title of the painting and then builds the subject from there.

While studying at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art, Laura was asked to teach watercolor. This began a journey that she is still traveling. She found that using all her educational background and training has been a real boon in teaching art. Laura's philosophy is if she can teach little children to read, she can certainly teach adults how to paint! She currently teaches beginning and advanced classes at Christwood Community Center in Covington, LA. She focuses on beginning with the basics (how to hold a brush, how to mix the paint, how to apply paint to the paper, how to paint the four washes). Each lesson progresses from there based on the interest and ability levels of the students.

Laura has her studio in her home (a converted bedroom). She finds it is crucial to have a specified space set aside for the purpose of creating art. This is her haven where she is surrounded by the things that give her pleasure and encourage creativity. She tries to work in her studio every day, and if she is painting, to start early and finish by mid afternoon. It is when life begins to overwhelm her that "painter's block" can sneak in. Then it is time to take care of the "stuff" (shopping, cleaning, bill paying, cooking, etc.) so she can get back to the important thing in life: creating.

Stars and Stripes Forever by Laura Mitchell

Since Laura began this artistic journey, she achieved several accomplishments of which she is extremely proud. She received signature status with the Louisiana Watercolor Society, the Mississippi Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society. Laura also received the Watercolor Artist Magazine Award in the National Watercolor Society 2011 91st International Exhibition. She received Honorable Mention in the Artist Magazine Artists Over 60 Competition in 2014. She was one of 24 artists invited to represent the National Watercolor Society as a Master International water media artist to exhibit in the 2014 Bienniale Internationale Exhibition in Estaimburg, Belgium, and was invited as a guest artist in the d'Acquerale in Uckange, France in 2016. Laura served on the Louisiana Watercolor Board for several years and was president in 2012. She has been invited to serve on the National Watercolor Society Board in 2017.

Laura prefers the sunny beach to the mountains; would rather read a book than watch a movie; her favorite author is Jane Austin; prefers romance to comedy, and when asked her favorite ice cream flavor, responded "chocolate."

Upcoming Events

Picture Day

July 10

Studio in the Park

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River Road Show Deadline

JULY 13

Enter Online, or postmarked

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Steve Shamburger Drawing Caricatures Classes Start

July 11

Studio in the Park

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Laura Mitchell Color Workshop

July 21-23

Studio in the Park

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Drawing Classes

Steve Shamburger

July - Drawing Caricatures

Mondays, July 11 - August 1 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Early Bird (until June 27): $120 LAAG members / $120 nonmembers
Regular Fee: $140 LAAG members / $140 nonmembers

To register contact Steve Shamburger at or 225-226-8990

Class Info | Steve's Website | Steve's LAAG Gallery

caricature by Steve Shamburger

Life Drawing Sessions

Every Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Fee: $10.00 per night / $30.00 per month

Studio in the Park, 2490 Silverest Ave., BR

Sessions are open studio, no instruction provided.

Artists are invited to draw or paint a live model in different poses for various durations.

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Life Drawing session

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