History Of River Oaks
In 1979, the Bolton Family donated their family home to the City of Alexandria in an agreement it would be used solely for the arts. The Bolton Home was the catalyst for River Oaks Square Arts Center. Circa 1899, the house is exemplary of Queen Anne Revival Architect in Louisiana and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. After years of renovation to the Bolton Home, River Oaks opened its’ doors in 1984 to meet the needs of the community which it serves. In 1999, a new 15,000 square foot Studio Annex building opened it’s doors to meet the changing, additional needs of the Center. Both buildings occupy a one block square lot in Downtown Alexandria’s Cultural District and are connected by a unique columned walk-way. The Studio Annex Building houses 25 studios, 3 galleries, an on-site Arts Academy, a full scale ceramics studio (four kilns), and rental space. The 8,000 square foot Bolton Home houses administrative offices, 7 studios and a gallery gift shop, featuring works of art from over 200 artists. For over 30 years, it has been River Oaks Square Arts Center’s (ROSAC) mission to promote contemporary visual art and fine crafts, to stimulate interest in, exhibition of, education of and appreciation for regional, resident, and local artists and their work. Currently, there are over 40 artists in residence (occupying studio space); an on-site arts academy provides continuous classes for adults and youth; presentation of twenty four exhibits are featured annually; outreach events are conducted for rural parishes/minority schools; collaborative efforts are ongoing with special needs organizations; and unique projects for youth stimulate knowledge and appreciation of fine arts and crafts.