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Imagine losing all your art. Art lovers on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are experiencing this loss. Would you be willing to share your art with them?
The city of Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi is known as Mississippi's West Coast, located 50 miles east of New Orleans,Louisiana and 90 west of Mobile, Alabama, right in the center of Hurricane Katrina's wind and storm surge. This small town of 8000 has always been, and will be again, very close knit with a strong focus on it's artistic and environmental heritage.
Prior to August, 2005 Bay Saint Louis' historic downtown was dotted with galleries that focused on and featured the work of local potters, watercolorists, photographers, oil painters, jewelry makers, and other fine art craftsmen, including the idylic folk art of the late Alice Mosely, whose home had just become the city's first art museum. They mixed local art with work from regional and national artists that appealed to the community and its visitors. This ecclectic mix of art and historic atmosphere are two of the reasons that Bay Saint Louis was listed as one of the top ten small art communities by USA Today.
Everyone in Bay Saint Louis was proud of building their collections from conservative, traditional work to new wave. Those collections now reside somewhere in a debris field in the Gulf of Mexico, along with local studios and creative spaces.
Would you share your work with this community? The replacement of art is low on the financial priority list for those surviviors of Hurricane Katrina, yet their appreciation and need for art ranks high.
Your art would be distributed through a local lottery, following a display at the city's one remaining, little damaged historic depot, where once artists and the public enjoyed exhibits, shows and lectures. A person wishing to participate in the lottery would have to register, presenting their local identification and a copy of their building permit, showing that they are committed to being a permanent resident of Bay Saint Louis. Their names would be drawn at random from the registration lists and given sequential numbers, matching the numbers given to the works of art received in the order they are received.
Those receiving art will be photographed with the work they receive and the donating artist will receive a copy of the photograph along with an acknowledgement from the city's director of Cultural Affairs, accepting the donation and its value through the city's 501 (c) 3 disaster charitable organization for tax purposes. Both professional artists & amateurs who sell their work are asked to give us an approximate value for the pieces donated. We welcome all artists' participation, however, and it is not necessary that you give us a dollar value for the work you send in. It is the love and care you put into your art which counts the most.
The target date for submissions is October 1, 2006. The display and lottery will take place mid November. All art may be mailed or shipped to:
City of Bay Saint Louis Art Lottery, Attention: Mike Cuevas,
P.O. Box 2550,
Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520
hand delivered to:
1928 Depot Way,
Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520
Both 2D and 3D works are welcome and should be packaged appropriately. Insurance will not be provided but all due care will be given to handling the art during the unpacking and display phase. Artwork will not be returned but will be acknowledged and documentated as noted above.
Art from the heart for this community is a needed transfusion to help speed its recovery from the most comprehensive natural disaster in American history. We hope you will consider being part of it!