About the Campaign

‘The Essence of Van Gogh’ is our inaugural online art auction, featuring works from eleven local artists. This portion of our online drive will go live on October 6 and all auctions will close on October 16, the date our original Van Gogh Gala. We encourage you to peruse the auction items below and bid at your leisure. Special thanks to our featured artists: Leah Morace, Lynn Sanders, Laura Gates, Aubrey Bolen, Elizabeth Morgan, Donna Barron, Tish Fresh, Dylan Rasch, Krista Redmond, Carla Guillory, and Margie Tate.

Bid today, share our campaign and become a proud collector of one of the works below to ensure River Oaks successfully emerges from this pandemic with its renowned artists, world class exhibitions, and the staff that support them intact.

Donna Barron

“High Cotton”

Multimedia Acrylic – 50″x62″ – Starting Bid $750

   Donna Barron is a local artist from Pineville with a passion for painting and sculpting.   Her Louisiana inspired paintings may include bayou scenes with cypress trees, lakes, birds, coastal wetlands, or cotton fields. Inspirational impressionist art or abstract works are also popular.   Her signature multi-media paintings include raised texture with gold, silver, or copper leaf accents creating dimension in each unique work of art..   Donna enjoys creating the perfect statement piece for each client. DB Originals By Donna Barron sell in Alexandria at John Ward Interiors and Gifts.Van Gogh Painting by Donna Barron – “High Cotton” is a 4′ x 5′ multi-media acrylic painting framed in a gold leaf floating gallery frame.    This unique cotton field is highlighted with gold and copper leaf.   Raised texture is used to bring the cotton to life!

Aubrey Bolen

 “Early Snow on the Wild Azalea Trail”

Acrylic – 48″x32″ – Starting Bid $650

I am a landscape painter that lives in Central Louisiana.  Since 2012 I have been the Visual Arts Director at River Oaks Square Arts Center and Camp Director of Summer Arts Studio, located in Alexandria, La.  My paintings showcase the different forest landscapes  & recreational trails of the Kisatchie National Forest.  With the use of the pallet knife and multiple layers of vibrant colors I try to capture the beauty of this diverse environment.  The main goal of my paintings is to bring awareness to our National Forest.

 “Early Snow on the Wild Azalea Trail” is inspired by segment 6 on the Wild Azalea Trail.  I went out and hiked this part of the trail after a snow storm back on December 8, 2017. The painting is part of the Kisatchie Series, which are paintings that are inspired by the Wild Azalea Trail which is located in Kisatchie National Forest. This trail is divided into 6 segments and has different vegetation communities through out the 24 mile trail. These paintings are inspired by the diverse biomes located in this National Forest.  I chose the Wild Azalea Trail as the focus of these paintings for its unique beauty. I wanted to share the diversity of this National Recreational Trail, located in Central Louisiana, though this pallet knife landscape paintings. My hope these paintings will bring awareness to this invaluable resource that we are so fortunate to have in Louisiana. 

Tish Fresh

“Bearing Gifts”

Acrylic – 36″x36″ – Starting Bid $500

River Oaks based artist, Tish Fresh, studied art at LSUA (1972-1973, 1987-1988) and Louisiana College (1989-1992), with focus in painting and ceramics.She has shown her work in the Tom Peyton Memorial Art show, two solo shows as well as several group shows at River Oaks Square Arts Center.  Her work can be found in private collections in California, Colorado, Michigan, Texas and Louisiana.  She has helped paint sets for City Park Players and Family Playhouse as well as a Dr. Seuss production of “Horton Hears a Who” for Alexandria County Day School performed at Coughlin-Saunders.  She also designed and painted a mural for St. James Episcopal Day School.  Tish prefers to paint in acrylics, make constructed mixed media pieces, take pottery classes (preferring hand-building to wheel work), make simple costume jewelry and participate in the annual River Oaks Porch Sale.  Tish has been a Resident Artists at River Oaks for over 15 years.  She maintains a studio at the Arts Center and at her home.

Laura Soullière Gates

“Raining at Rapides Station”

Oil on Canvas – 18″x36″ – Starting Bid $450

Gates received her BFA in Art and her MA in History of Art and Architecture from the University of Massachusetts. For years she worked for the National Park Service in the west and southwest, which provided opportunities for working and living in national parks and protected areas. She has lived in Louisiana for more than 20 years, and since 2015 she has been a resident artist at River Oaks Square Arts Center in Alexandria, Louisiana.Gates’ work has been juried into a number of regional and national competitions over the past 25 years, including ArtFields (12-state, juried) and the Alexandria Museum of Art’s September Competition (international, juried). She has won numerous awards, and she has exhibited in group and solo shows in the Southeast. Her work is in private and institutional collections in the United States and several foreign countries. Recently the Alexandria Museum of Art acquired some of her work.Gates’ paintings are about landscape. She paints in the studio and en plein air (outside) translating the elements that create sense and memory of place into expressive works on canvas. She often uses painting knives and other tools in addition to brushes to spread the paint. This gives her work freer, more expressive and abstract qualities. These tools also allow for greater use of pure paint out of the tube, making her work rich in color and texture. She has been featured in “Art Rocks” (Louisiana Public Broadcasting, episode 517) and Louisiana Life magazine (January-February 2019). She gets outside whenever she can.

Carla Guillory

“Handling 2020 Like A Boss”

Acrylic – 24″x36″ – Starting Bid $350

A local artist who dabbles in a variety of media and painting styles. from abstract to realism, Carla began painting for River Oaks Annual Van Gogh Gala as a featured Star Artist. Today, she serves as a mentor artist to community members wanting to explore contemporary visual art. Her works are textured, colorful and inspired by various renowned regional and local artists. As a realtor, her favorite hobby is flipping houses. She states the most rewarding part, of being involved in the Annual Van Gogh Gala, is how it pushes her beyond her comfort zone to create a piece that will be sold for a great cause. Carla also serves as River Oaks Outreach Painting Instructor for Hope House, providing classes for women and children in need as an outlet for informal art therapy.

Leah Morace

“Hummingbird Dance”

Acrylic / Mixed Media – 62″x50″ – Starting Bid $750

Leah Morace was born and raised in Central Louisiana.  She was encouraged in her art by her grandmother who also loved the arts. Her childhood was spent drawing, coloring and even china painting with her grandmother. Convinced that she couldn’t make a living painting, she pursed and earned a BFA in Graphic Design at Louisiana College.  After several years of working with no creative freedom, she took a leap and left her job to pursue her passion and paint full time. Leah has enjoyed finding her style (which is always evolving) but has gained the confidence to “paint from the soul”, finding inspiration all around. Louisiana is her first muse and also the title of her first solo show in June 2016, Louisiana: My Muse. “I gather inspiration from imagery of the south, my culture, my travels, and the beauty of nature. I enjoy the process of working with different mediums, scraping and layering with a pallet knife, creating a loose abstract feel in my backgrounds, and then switching to a brush to capture the more tedious details of the more representational subject.”Leah resides in Effie, Louisiana with her supportive husband and 4 children. Her studio is in the cultural arts district in Alexandria, Louisiana at River Oaks Art Square Center.

Elizabeth Morgan


Oil on Canvas – 37.5″x25″ – Starting Bid $500

Elizabeth Morgan is a 1999 graduate of the Louisiana Tech School of Design. She holds Bachelor of Interior Design. Elizabeth has been drawing and painting from early childhood until now. During her years at Louisiana Tech she was awarded numerous awards for her work including the Hart Design Excellence Award. This allowed for travel and study of art and architecture in Italy. She also has architectural HABS delineations of the Historic Melrose Plantation, on file in the Library of Congress, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and published in a book on folk and styled architecture by F.L. Martin.Elizabeth has an eclectic style of artwork ranging from pen-n-ink, pencil, watercolor, oil, acrylic and mixed media. Inspired by her undying love of nature and also inspired by the people, places and things that she encounters on a daily basis. She has the ability to translate art in a highly detailed drawing/painting to a very contemporary or abstract style.As an artist she believes that using her hands to create is a way to honor God for the gifts that he has given her. She will tell you that the beginning of any design or project is always so exciting, but the middle is what it’s all about. It’s about the journey and the process to get to the next design challenge. Every piece of her work is an exploration or journey of her life expressed in many forms and mediums.

Dylan Rasch

“Horses of Helios”

Acrylic – 96″x48″ – Starting Bid $750

I was interested in art originally from seeing stained-glass in the Catholic Churches across Louisiana.Overwhelmed by their power I collected books if only for their imagery. This collection would grow in topics such as Art, History, and Philosophy. I find these subjects most insightful as they teach me not to make decorations, but artifacts depicting my time and understanding. 

If I must pick, some of my most iconic influencers would be Eugene Delacroix, PeterPaul Ruebens, and Ulpiano Checa.

As shown in their work, the artist must not just be skillful, but must be bold enough to show the world both what it desires most and what it most afraid of.

Dr. Krista Redmond

“Lady Gogh”

Acrylic – 36″x24″ – Starting Bid $350

Dr. Krista Redmond, a Texas native, is a local self-taught artist who owns Whistlin’ Dixie Art: Paintings by Krista Redmond. Her style is carefree and impressionistic. Krista serves as a member on the Board of Managers for The Alexandria Museum of Art and is also a supporter of the River Oaks Square Arts Center. She has been featured as both a star and mentor artist in River Oaks Square Arts Center’s Van Gogh Gala. Krista is also an educator and currently serves as an instructor for Louisiana State University at Alexandria’s Department of Education. She holds a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Krista is married to Dr. Patrick Redmond, MD, of Louisiana Eye and Laser, and has three sons, Luke (9) and Rhett (5), and Max (10 months). Krista is a long time member of the Junior League of Alexandria and was named an honoree of The Town Talk’s 20 Under 40 award recognizing young professionals striving to make a difference in Central Louisiana.

Lynn Sanders


Synthetic Polymers – 30″x48″ – Starting Bid $750

Lynn Sanders is an abstract expressionist painter whose work is largely influenced by her relationship to impatience and impulsivity. Working with a variety of mediums on each canvas, she paints intuitively—adding, mixing, editing, and layering colors upon colors that drive the process forward. The resulting works are emotive, tactile, and experiential.

Margie Tate

“Garden Entrance”

Watercolor 29″x24″ w/ frame (image 17″x11″) – Starting Bid $400

Margie Tate of McNary, LA has painted and exhibited for over 40 years. Her work can be seen locally in her studio in River Oaks Arts Center in Alexandria and in various other locations in the area. She paints primarily in oil, watercolor and pastel and is inspired always by nature, color and light. Her work is in collections throughout the country. The watercolor painting, “Garden Entrance” is inspired by a combination of photographs. Margie masked out some of the lights, poured some of the paint and slowly brought the image from abstract to a more detailed painting. The watercolor techniques she uses in various paintings are influenced by her studies in many workshops with the well-known artist, Lian Zhen.

Please note that all artwork is for pickup / courier pickup at River Oaks Square Arts Center at 1330 Second Street, Alexandria, Louisiana. Shipping not available due to size. River Oaks is not responsible for packaging or shipping.