About the Show

8th Annual Dirty South Cup Call Returns to River Oaks

For the eighth year in a row, ceramic vessels that encompass exemplary creativity, experimentation, and imagination come to River Oaks to showcase what can be accomplished with ceramics. Up to 125 artists will be chosen for this inspiring Southern event because we all need a good mug for our tea and coffee and if not, we always need a good conversation piece. The Dirty South Cup Call has made a name for itself on a national stage and remains one of the largest exhibitions of functional and non-functional mugs, cups, and yunomis in the Southeastern United States.

“We’re amazed year after year at how many artists are competing to participate in the Dirty South Cup Call - new talent and returning artists alike,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. “This competition brings with it one of the most amazing displays of creativity. Drinking vessels and ceramics have been a vital part of civilization and art for millennia, yet these artists still manage to come up with new, never-before-seen pieces every single year. It is a show of the enduring creativity that is within us.”

Along with the entries in the Dirty South Cup Call, the guest juror typically invites a few artists of their own choosing to display their vessels in the ‘Friends of the Juror Exhibition.’ The guest juror is recruited from some of the most talented ceramicists in the country every year and for this inception, Renee LoPresti will bring her talents, her work, and some of her friends to Downtown Alexandria. 

“Ceramics have always provided me with continual exploration of imagery, composition and form in a way that can be painterly, sculptural, and intimate all at once,” says LoPresti, who will display her own recent works in the Friends of the Juror Exhibition. “Through the use of personable and playful imagery, these functional pots are intended to become integrated within the user’s daily life and hopefully provide deeper connections that are unique to each individual.”

“My wheel-thrown vessels are simple forms designed for comfort and function. A series of colorful rectilinear blocks and patterns are layered on the surface to create composition,” she continues describing her own art. “This series of translucent layers creates a visual depth but also refers to how the human mind can abstractly store memories. Some details fade while others are more prevalent all whilst existing in the same physical space.”

LoPresti grew up in rural northwest New Jersey. In 2009, she earned her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in ceramics and glass. She later found Eye of the Dog Art Center in San Marcos, Texas where she has been working as an Artist in Residence for the past several years. She teaches workshops and shows her work through numerous national juried exhibitions, including the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts for the 21st National Ceramic Competition. In 2017, Renee was named one of Ceramics Monthly’s Emerging Artists.

Rounding out the exhibition lineup will be our own Morgan Lasyone with ‘Our Mother Of: An Exploration Into Motherhood & Sainthood’ in the Galerie des Amis. Lasyone attended NSU pursuing a major in Studio Art and has exhibited her art across Louisiana and as far away as New York.

“In November of 2019, I discovered I was pregnant. So many thoughts rushed through my mind including, ‘how will I be a mother?’ Before a baby, I was always on the road, letting the wind carry me wherever it saw fit,” recalls Lasyone. “Suddenly, there I was with a permanent connection to another human being. I felt as if the wind would go on without me.”

As Lasyone was processing the future of her exhibition with motherhood being upon her she was discussing potential themes with local patrons. Feeling as though she was in a rut, a patron suggested she paint the Mother Mary. At that point, the theme for Layone’s show clicked as she began sketching on napkins or anything she could find. Much as Faulkner’s words would pour out of his pen, the work began to materialize with facets of the Mother Mary in an non-traditional sense. “The image of Mother Mary, would take me on a journey through what it takes to become a patron saint, and how I could connect all of that with what it takes to become/be a mother,” says Lasyone.

LoPresti will also be on hand for a workshop titled ‘Creating a Dynamic Layered Surface’ on April 6th & 7th, 2022. The two day workshop will focus on developing surface composition by layering underglazes and glaze directly onto leatherhard clay. Custom paper and reusable die-cut vinyl stencils will be used to create layered patterns, shapes, and detailed imagery. Students will be able to explore these techniques directly onto their own wheel-thrown or hand-built surfaces. The techniques and materials used during this workshop have the flexibility to be fired to any temperature/atmosphere. Enrollment is suggested for intermediate to advanced level artists and the enrollment fee is $100.

All three exhibitions will be on display concurrently from April 8 until May 28, 2022. An exhibition opening with juror remarks and awards ceremony has been scheduled for April 8, 2022 from 5-8pm at River Oaks. The awards ceremony will begin around 6:30pm. The exhibition opening is sponsored by GAEDA, Captivate Minds Marketing, Dr. Betsy Long Memorial Fund, Rapides Regional Medical Center, Red River Bank, the National Endowment of the Arts, Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, and Louisiana Division of the Arts.

For more information on exhibitions and the workshop, please contact River Oaks at (318) 473-2670, visit RiverOaksArtsCenter.com or find us on Facebook under River Oaks Arts Center.