About the Show

Spring is here and that means River Oaks is thinking about cups! That’s right, we’re currently working on one of our anchor exhibitions, the 9th Annual Dirty South Cup Call and Competition, which will be on display at River Oaks from April 13 through May 27.

The 2023 Dirty South Cup Call and Competition will feature Guest Juror Gwendolyn Yoppolo along with a carefully selected lineup of over 100 functional and non-functional cups, mugs and yunomis from artists across the US. Gwendolyn Yoppolo describes herself as “a maker, thinker, and educator whose sensuous designs challenge the ways we nourish ourselves and others within contemporary food culture.” 

Yoppolo creates kitchen- and table-wares that use the physical experience of hunger and satiation to allude to larger issues of human desire and relationship. She earned an MFA in Ceramics from Penn State University, an MA in Education from Columbia University, and a BA in Sociology from Haverford College. A passionate educator, writer, and researcher as well as a maker, Gwendolyn Yoppolo is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Kutztown University. Her writing can be found in Studio Potter, Pottery Making Illustrated, and Passion and Pedagogy. 

“To be held in the hands or touched to the lips, these are intimate objects,” says Yoppolo. “The forms I make engage the threshold of subjectivity by offering a conduit for nourishment into the body or between bodies. The experience is more than visceral, as the body’s pursuit of sensual experience is tied into the process of making existence meaningful on all levels. How we choose to feed ourselves and others is connected not only to our sensations of hunger and gratification, but also to our deeper perceptions of ourselves, and of the larger stories we live by.”

The Dirty South Cup Call will also feature the Friends of the Juror Exhibition, displaying both Yoppolo’s work along with that of an invitation-only lineup of ceramicists invited by Yoppolo herself. “The two shows are always a fascinating juxtaposition,” says Rachael Dauzat, Executive Director at River Oaks. “The Dirty South Cup Call brings together a wide gamut of work, from newcomers to renowned artists alike. We see vessels that have strong ties to traditional Asian and European influences and those that seek to break every rule. We might see a cup that could easily belong in a traditional tea ceremony next to one inspired by sci-fi or comics.”

The Dirty South Cup Call and Competition as well as the Friends of the Juror exhibition will also be available online at RiverOaksVirtualExhibitions.com for viewing and purchases to accommodate for the tremendous regional and national interest in the exhibition.

Concurrent in the Galerie des Amis will be resident artist Sylvia Kerry with her exhibition titled “Good Enough?” An artist from Pineville, Louisiana, she loves spending time with friends and family and living an active life that enables her to enjoy the outdoors through walking, jogging, and hiking. Sylvia is always observing her surroundings for potential resources for art creations.

“God created our amazing planet with all of its beautiful creatures,” says Kerry. “He also blessed me with a little talent and I want to use my talents to praise Him through my art. There is something about capturing the realistic, natural being of an animal through the eyes and movements of its body that gives me great satisfaction.” Being a lover of nature, she marvels at the textures, shapes, colors and tones so readily available in our everyday surroundings. “One can find truly amazing and beautiful sites in seemingly mundane everyday life. All you have to do is really open your eyes and your heart.”

The GAEDA Education series will feature a workshop by Gwendolyn Yoppolo on April 13 and 14 titled “Integration: Aligning Form and Surface.” Yoppolo will talk about how you can develop a unique voice in your artwork by bringing your aesthetic goals into alignment with the materials, processes, forms, and surfaces. Learn how to develop a material vocabulary of form, color and surface that can evoke emotion, deliver poetic metaphor, make connections to cultural histories, and resonate sentiment.

Sharing her sculptural approach to making utilitarian ceramic objects, Yoppolo will demonstrate an eclectic mix of pinching, coiling, throwing and altering, and molding techniques. Special attention will be given to the development of color and surface qualities through creative glaze chemistry experiments that are grounded in scientific methodology but driven by intuition. We will unify form and surface as we generate dialogue, drawings, and writing to clarify artistic concepts.

An opening reception has been scheduled for April 13 from 5-7pm with Jurors Remarks and following Awards Ceremony at 6pm. The reception is sponsored by GAEDA, The Arts Council of Central Louisiana, The Hotel Bentley, Captivate Minds Marketing, Rapides Regional Medical Center, Red River Bank and Louisiana Feed Your Soul.

River Oaks is also assembling the lineup of chefs for the 21st Annual Men Who Cook at River Oaks Fundraiser scheduled for May 20, 2023. Participants are encouraged to contact the Executive Director Rachael Dauzat at River Oaks directly.

For more information, please call River Oaks at 318-473-2670, visit RiverOaksArtsCenter.com or find us on Facebook under River Oaks Arts Center.