- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
There’s no chicken or the egg mystery when it comes to how the arts have helped Bay St. Louis flourish over the past four decades:
A number of artists began moving to the Bay (in a large part led by Jerry Dixon, founder of Serenity Gallery) in the mid-80s, opening galleries and studios.
The Bay developed a reputation as an creative community, making national lists like “100 Best Small Art Towns,” or “Coastal Dream Towns.” In every recognition, the lively local arts scene has been named as a primary factor for being chosen. The national publicity generates priceless positive publicity for our town and attracts visitors and new residents/businesses. And it's a major reason that real estate in the Bay commands some of the highest prices in the state.
Talk of the Town
Art events throughout the year build the sense of community, as well as boosting the local economy. There’s the annual Arts Alive!, Frida Fest (celebrating the birthday of artist Frida Kahlo) and the Mermaid’s Arts & Crafts show.
The monthly Second Saturday Artwalk (a veteran event that’s more than 25 years old!) pulls a lion’s share of weight for community enhancement and prosperity. New events like the Downhome Blues Music Series work double-duty too, entertaining locals, as well as building our reputation as a desirable place to live and do business.
The Bay is a shining example of Mississippi's creative economy.
These events occur only because of local organizations, like The Arts, Hancock County, the Old Town Merchants Association and the Alice and Tim Moseley Foundation and dozens of artist volunteers and generous merchants, who donate time and money and a creative can-do spirit (to name only a few - Smith & Lens Gallery, the Mockingbird Café, The French Potager, Gallery 220 and Bay Life).
So how can you help support this self-sufficient cultural community that uplifts our lives and generates enormous economic benefits for us all?
“Liking” or "loving" an arts-related post helps, while taking a moment to "share" with a brief introductory comment really has a long reach. On social media, comments are king. You’ll have more impact than you could imagine.
On Facebook, follow:
- The Arts, Hancock County, MS
- Old Town Bay St Louis
- Alice Moseley Folk Art and Antique Museum
- Hancock County Tourism Bureau
- The Shoofly Magazine (yep, that's us! We'll keep you up with all the cool happenings!)
Have a loved one with a creative hankering? You can even purchase gift certificates for lessons with local artists (see our list at the end of this story!).
Below are art-related holiday happenings – we’ll be adding to it throughout the season. You can also check in at our Community Calendar or our Upcoming Events page at any time.
November 11 & December 9
Things are lively all day, but really gear up between 4pm - 8pm
During the Second Saturday Artwalk each month in Old Town Bay St. Louis, you'll find cool deals, fresh meals and lots of art and live music. It's the way we throw a family-friendly party here in the Bay and you're invited! The holiday ones are especially fun, so invite your friends and family from across the coast and beyond.
November 18 - 19
Saturday, 10am - 4pm, - Sunday, 11am - 3pm
415 S. Necaise Ave.
Bay St. Louis
This working art studio cleans up for the annual Open House held the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Artists in Clay : Regan Carney, Gayle Andersson, Mark Buszkiewicz, Nina Cork, Jeanne Richardson. Painters: Janet Densmore and Jerome Anderson. Photography: Per-Owe Andersson. Vintage Jewelry: Iris Naomi. Handmade books, collage: Noni Johns. Mosaics: Jo Slay. Live Music by "Ivory Bill," featuring Billy Ray Hammond and David Sallis playing blues and ballads.
Entirely undercover, so "rain or shine". Wheel chair accessible. Art demonstrations.
335 Coleman Avenue, Waveland, MS
Friday, 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday, 9 am – 4 pm
Saturday 8am - Pancake Breakfast With Santa
Shop for great Christmas gifts, clothing, jewelry, and home decor items.
Find the event on Facebook: Ground Zero Hurricane Museum
Friday & Saturday
Really. Forget the mall scene. Spend Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday meandering through the locally owned shops and dining in one of our indie eateries. Walk along the seawall, or along the piers. No parking hassles, no long lines, no pushy crowds. You'll be glad you did your holiday shopping the BSL way.
On Friday evening, there's the Second Street Art Trifecta:
- Mr. Atticus's Night Market (Mockingbird Cafe, 110 S. Second Street) - live music, artisans, a special menu and lots of BSL style conviviality!
- Smith & Lens (106 S. Second Street) Opening Reception for Amanda Bennett - 6pm - 8pm
- Gallery Edge (112 S. Second Street, inside Century Hall) group show opening reception, 5:30pm - 8pm
On Saturday celebrate all day in Old Town in conjunction with Shop Local movements across America!
10 am to 4pm
22591 Rue La Terre Kiln, MS
rain or shine
A short walk from parking to Fine Art, Fine Craft, demonstrations and refreshments.
Located under the pavilion on the beautiful wooded property of La Terre in Kiln. Working in clay are Gayle Andersson, Regan Carney, Mark Buszkiewicz, Danielle Inabinet Runnels and Margaret Inabinet. Weaving - James Inabinet. Photography - Per-Owe Andersson. Multiple Media - Janelle Alys Mullen. Gourmet Soaps - Greg. Cookies - Kathleen
Painting - Chloe Harville. Hand-sewn items - Patty Lockleer.
December 1 & 2
Friday, 10am - 6pm, Saturday 10am - 2pm
Bay Waveland Yacht Club
666 N. Beach Blvd.
Several local artists usually sell at this annual show, when the membership only Bay-Waveland Yacht Club is open to the public for the event. Great views, wonderful hometown holiday feel.
www.bwyc.org (228) 467-4592
December 9 - 10
Saturday, 10am - 8pm, Sunday Noon to 6pm
101 Central Ave.
Bay St. Louis
Starting at 8pm they'll have a studio party with refreshments, live entertainment and dancing. Be prepared for artistic revelry!
The ones below can arrange for gift certificates too - so you can give your loved one an opportunity to unleash their more creative side! See our Art Teachers page for more information about these incredible local artists!
Class cards can be used to drop-in during scheduled class times or by appointment any time during our open studio hours, with flexibility to fit any schedule. For more info visit the BSL Creative Arts Center Facebook page or call 228-342-7668.