About the Show

River Oaks welcomes record-setting 7th Annual Dirty South Cup Call and Competition

In the words of Dr. Theodore Geisel, “If you’re someone who writes or paints, don’t be afraid to try constraints!” – while the field of ceramics certainly includes a plethora of manifestations, limiting a show to cups, mugs and yunomis has proven to be an incredible catalyst for creativity for the participating potters and ceramicists. Now in its 7th year, the Annual Dirty South Cup Call and Competition has made a name for itself and has made our little creative corner of Downtown Alexandria a household name for lovers of a good cup. Functional or not.

“Creatives have embraced constraints throughout history,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. “The same way Piet Mondrian restricted his art to primary colors and right angles and, in the process, birthed the definition of Modernism, we are placing very specific constraints on the artists to put their creative spirit under pressure – and pressure in this case produces diamonds in form of drinking vessels.”

“Last year’s Dirty South Cup Call and Competition featured a pandemic-induced virtual component, a new tradition that we will gladly continue this year,” continues Dauzat. “River Oaks was able to pivot quickly and deliver one of the first virtual ceramic shows in the country, thanks to the help from our partners. The virtual show attracted online visitors from all over the country and globe – many more than we normally welcome to our center even in the busiest of shows.” 

This year, the cup show received a record setting 224 entries from almost every state in the country, and we were able to accept 76 of them into the actual show. Add to that the 35+ friends of the juror with over fifty entries and the 7th Annual is the biggest cup show Louisiana has ever seen.

The cup that traveled the farthest to participate in the show will come from almost 2,000 miles away and was submitted by John Vorstadt from Tacoma, WA. The closest this time comes from right down the road in Lafayette, LA, from artist Susan Chiquelin. We’re glad to see some artists return year after year and welcome the many new faces, or should we say mugs, from all over the country just the same. Over all, River Oaks will have over 130 mugs from at least 27 states on display.

The Guest Juror this year will be none other than Dan Anderson. A frequent workshop presenter, Anderson has lectured and demonstrated at over 150 venues over the past five decades. A multiple grant/award recipient, he has received a NEA Artist Fellowship, twelve Illinois Arts Council grants and a Ford Foundation Grant. Major galleries represent Dan across the United States and his artwork is in numerous private and permanent collections. His “mounds” anagama wood kiln is fired at his rural Edwardsville studio, Old Poag Road Clay & Glass, twice a year. He has been wood firing for over thirty years.

Dan will also be on hand to present his workshop titled ‘So You Want To Create A Drinking Vessel” on April 8 & 9 from 10a-4p. Students will earn to make drinking cups, mugs and tumblers. This hands-on workshop will help you in your quest to improve your skills creating hand-held drinking vessels. If you are already adept at making pots on the potters wheel this will be a benefit. However, if you are not versed on using the “wheel”, there will be alternate methods to enable participants to make cups using hand-building techniques.

Concurrently we will feature local artist and Alexandria native Karen Faulk with her exhibition ‘Chasing Color’ in the Galerie de Amis. Karen initially used photography as her outlet for art expression, which in turn inspired her pottery ideas and acrylic, oil and mixed media paintings. “Art has opened up a whole new world for me. Dramatic contrast, vivid color and the spontaneity of brush strokes are all major players in my paintings,” says Faulk. She enjoys working with her husband, Tommy Faulk, a watercolor artist and is passionate about promoting artists in the community.

The exhibitions will be available for viewing at River Oaks April 9 – May 22, 2021 and an exhibition opening with an award and dedication ceremony has been scheduled for April 9 from 5-8pm. This will include a special ceremony honoring Dr. Betsy Long as we dedicate River Oaks’ Ceramics Lab and award the first Creative Cup Award in her memoriam. The exhibition opening is sponsored in part by GAEDA, National Endowment of the Arts, DOA, Dr. & Mrs. James Parrish, and the Dr. Betsy Long Memorial Fund.

The virtual component will be available starting the same day via RiverOaksVirtualExhibitions.com and will include all entries into the show as well as the Friends of the Juror Show. For questions about the show, exhibition opening and classes, please call River Oaks at (318) 473-2670, visit RiverOaksArtsCenter.com or find us on Facebook via River Oaks Arts Center.