Welcome New River Gallery Members!

NewMembers Nancy Shutt (left) and Branda McDaniel (right) welcome new River Gallery member Mary May (center). River Gallery members enjoyed a large crowd of visitors during the Downtown Art Crawl Thursday, October 1st (not pictured is new member Rachel Hudnall).

NewMembers2 New River Gallery member Brett Moreland stands in front of his paintings during the Downtown Art Crawl.


Mary Ann Nagan, September Featured Artist

maryannnagan_1  maryannnagan_2


Joyce Beauvais, August 2015 Featured Artist

Joyce_Dancing Saturday Night Before Sunday Service

Exhibition Theme:  “Faith, Religion, and God’s Creations in Nature”

Joyce Beauvais has been a member of the “River Gallery” co-op since 2012.  Beauvais’ work will be on display August 7 -31.  Her paintings, in both oil and watercolor, feature churches, landscapes, a river baptism, a cross with flowers, and a Saturday night of fun before Sunday Services.  The artist’s exhibition follows The River Gallery’s celebration of twenty-five years in operation as Louisiana’s oldest artist co-op.



The River Gallery celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

ORAGbrendamcdaniel_adarichie_carolynfox Brenda McDaniel, Ada Richie, Carolyn Fox

ORAG_Brenda Brenda McDaniel demos at a Downtown Art Crawl

The River Gallery Celebrates its Silver Anniversary!

The month of July is The River Gallery’s 25th anniversary. WOW!  That’s a quarter of a century.  The artists/members will feature a memorabilia wall with photos and news stories from the past 25 years . Each artist will show a painting created just for the occasion using “silver” or “25” as the theme of the painting. The “Silver Celebration” exhibit will continue through Thursday, August 6 with a closing celebration during the Downtown Gallery Crawl.

The gallery started in the summer of 1990 with a group of local and regional painters, potters, photographers, woodworkers, and jewelry makers wishing to promote art, art education, and art appreciation to the people of this area. They formed the non-profit co-op named “The Ouachita River Art Guild.” Their first gallery was in the Glenwood Mall in West Monroe, and they later moved to Antique Alley in downtown West Monroe, growing into a much larger store front on Antique Alley at 308 Trenton Street where they are now located.  The River Gallery has now become the oldest art co-op in Louisiana. Each artist takes a turn at working in the gallery, while other details of running a business are spread out among the members. Membership in the gallery is through a juried process.

Workshops that anyone can attend, in various media, by well known artists are sponsored several times a year in different locations. As the co-op approaches its 25th anniversary, it continues to thrive and grow. Located at 308 Trenton St. in West Monroe on historic Antique Alley, it is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM. Phone 318-322-2380. Web site:



Phoebe Allen Mathys, June Featured Artist


From Florence to Rome by Phoebe Allen Mathys.

The Ouachita River Art Gallery will feature Phoebe Allen Mathys, retired Louisiana Tech School of Art and Architecture Professor Emeritus, in June 2015. This show, “Rome with a View,” is a series of paintings taken from Phoebe’s sketch books and memories of her travels to Rome, Italy. Painting primarily in water media, Phoebe’s love of color and playful nature is obvious to anyone viewing her work. She says, “To create means to cause to come into existence. It is hard work. Every time I sit down to paint I try to do something in image or essence I’ve never seen or done before. I hope to know my subject well enough so that my mind, eyes, and hand are working together.”

In addition to the regular gallery hours, the River Gallery will be open until 9pm on Thursday, June 4 for the Downtown Gallery Crawl. There will be refreshments, wine and music.

Phoebe is a native of north Louisiana and earned her B.A. and M.A. in Art Education with additional hours in Fine Arts. She taught 33 years at Louisiana Tech in the School of Art and the School of Architecture in areas of basic two-dimensional design, color theory, and advanced media and presentation techniques. She has exhibited in over a hundred juried and invitational exhibitions as well as many local, regional and national art exhibitions. Phoebe has received many honors for both her teaching skills and her fine art work and has been published in several volumes and articles.

The Ouachita River Art Gallery, voted Best Art Gallery in 2014, is at 308 Trenton Street, West Monroe and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The gallery is the oldest and largest co-op gallery in the state of Louisiana. Many of the artists accept commissions, so if you see a style of work that you like, don’t be afraid to inquire about having one of the artists create a custom piece. Admission is always free. Call 322-2380 for more information or visitwww.ouachitariverartgallery.com.

Robert G. Ward, featured artist of the month


Roxie’s Playground (acrylic on canvas) by Bob Ward, the River Gallery’s featured artist for May 2015. Reception for the artist: Saturday, May 23rd, 3-5pm.

Robert G. Ward is the May 2015 Featured Artist-of-the-Month at the River Art Gallery. He is in his second year of being affiliated with this gallery. Previously, he worked 42 years at ULM as Professor of Art, specializing in painting and drawing.

His exhibition, Our Own Backyard, consists of a series of acrylic on canvas paintings depicting a three mile radius of landscape found in the Lake D’Arbonne area in Union Parish,where he and his artist wife Linda now make their home.

Ward has stated: “To paint a landscape is one thing, but to live in the landscape that you are painting is certainly another more insightful thing.”

Marlen Waters, April Featured Artist


Marlen Waters is the River Gallery’s Featured Artist for April 2015.

Marlen states “I enjoy color—and lots of it—the energy that the paint has when it is applied to paper or canvas. Using latex, inks, and acrylics I let the paint tell me what the painting is to become. I also do a combination of calligraphic lettering worked into colorful abstract compositions. As a small child, I loved tracing letters from the covers of magazines, changing them, embellishing them and marveling at how their parts fit together. This fascination with letters, shapes, and colors lead into combining my love of color and painting with letters and letter forms. Combining them has given me a chance to touch people who seem to enjoy the inspirational sayings and the play of color and shape. A favorite teacher has always said that art is in the process, not in the product. I believe that in my heart but I like to expand on it. The process is my art—that is what is within me, and the product is what reaches others—to touch their hearts and souls.”

Born and raised in Homer, Louisiana, Marlen Waters graduated from Louisiana Tech University with an M.S. in Medical Technology and an M.B.A. in Marketing.  She continued her education studying art and calligraphy at Louisiana Tech University, University of Pennsylvania, Chicago College of Art, St. Johns University, and with various master calligraphers and artists.

She is a board member of the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, a charter member of the Piney Hills Art Gallery, a roster artist and a member of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, and she was a Louisiana Division of the Arts roster artist.  Marlen is a member of the River Gallery in West Monroe, Lincoln Parish Museum, and Beta Sigma Phi.  Marlen has been on the Louisiana Peach Festival Steering Committee for twelve years and will be chairing the Arts and Crafts Show again this year.  She has been the Coordinator of Volunteers, chaired the Gospel and Family Day and has been in charge of the Peach Festival T-shirts and merchandise.  She has had two of her designs selected for the PeachFestival poster and three of her designs have been selected for the t-shirts. One of her Peach Festival posters is currently being used in the HBO television show “True Blood”.

Her designs have also been chosen for the Louisiana Watermelon Festival posters.  Her art has been accepted into numerous juried shows, and she has had several solo and shared shows in the region. She was the Executive Director of the Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston from the time it opened in January 2006 through 2011.  Presently, she is a contributing writer and photographer for Bayou Life Magazine.  She is a free-lance calligrapher, graphic designer and artist, and has taught art and calligraphy classes privately and with Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University Continuing Education.  Marlen is married to Roy Waters; they live in Ruston, Louisiana and have three children.  They attend Trinity United Methodist Church. Her artwork can be viewed on her