Art Adventures in the Bay
- story by Lisa Monti
Visitors come to Bay St. Louis for a lot of reasons — the beaches, the casual lifestyle and a robust arts community among them. Now we can add another drawing card: art lessons taught by local artists. It’s part of a tourism trend seen nationally and now it’s starting to build here.
Two aspiring potters from Austin sent this testimonial to potter Regan Carney: “The town of Bay St Louis, along with the incredibly gratifying pottery workshop, has been one of the most delightful ‘adventure/learning’ vacations either of us has ever taken. The joy of working with Regan has us looking forward to returning each year for more fun filled ventures in clay.”
Here’s a look at some of the artists and what they offer to visitors (and locals):
The Bay St. Louis Creative Arts Center
Steve Barney, the CAC’s director, has ambitious plans to make it a destination for snowbird artists. “There is a large demographic of semi-retired professionals in colder climates who are avid artists and are looking for opportunities to combine studio time with a mid-winter coastal retreat,” he said.
Barney is teaming up with Kevin Jordan, owner of Gulf View properties, to offer all-inclusive two- and four-week artisan retreat packages. Guests will be housed in Jordan’s guesthouses, studios and vacation homes within a block or two from the CAC.
In addition to pottery and metalworking classes, artists can explore other mediums such as stained glass and silkscreening.
Local transportation options include a shared golf cart and fleet of beach cruiser bikes. Weekend excursions into New Orleans and other coastal destinations are planned. The first artisan retreat package is scheduled for January 13–February 17, 2018.
“Interest in our artisan retreat programs has been strong and we expect this program to grow slowly over time as word gets out,” Barney said.
For those not requiring accommodations or are interested in special arrangements, the CAC offers customized packages to visiting artists.
To book a spot in the 2018 retreat or for other information about CAC programs, email Steve Barney firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 228-342-7668.
Her work is widely featured, including locally in Gallery 220 and the Lawson Studio. Carney teaches beginner through master level classes at the coop.
“I am happy to teach any level in general or specific techniques. I teach both throwing on the wheel or handbuilding functional ware or sculptural forms. Usually throwing takes the most amount of time,” she said.
To make the experience the best it can be, Carney requires at least three weeks’ lead time to set up a private workshop for one up to six students.
“I need to know the level of expertise, if there is any, and if there is to be a focus.
I also need to know how long they are going to be in the area and how much of that time do they want to spend in the studio,” said Carney. Her workshops have been two days to six weeks. “Communication is key with this kind of workshop,” she said.
For more information, call 228-216-0210.
Nina Cork, a ceramic artist, offers two-hour clay workshops at the Bay Artist Co-Op, 415 S. Necaise Avenue in Bay St. Louis.
Cork has 36 years of art-making experience in sculpture, fine art, ceramics and art education.
Her workshops are designed for all skill levels, with an emphasis on having fun. No experience is necessary. The quick and easy workshops include mug making, ceramic planters, decorative crosses and much more. Cork needs three weeks’ notice and prefers classes of three to eight students.
The cost is $50 per student. and all materials are included. Cork will ship your finished pieces home for a nominal fee.
For more information, email email@example.com.
If you enjoy early mornings, fresh air, and art, gather a few friends and paint and/or sketch from 8am - noon any day of the week with artist Janet Densmore - in and around her beachside home.
Paint a landscape/seascape; or still life (your choice). Rainy days afford comfortable indoor views (air-conditioned) as well as covered porch spaces. Beach umbrella/chairs/table easels provided. Please bring your own preferred art supplies. Refreshments included. Maximum class size: 3.
$75.00 in advance per person for 4-hour class plus continental breakfast, beverages, and light lunch/critique if desired. Same-day reservation provided there is still room in the class: $95.00. To reserve your spot contact Janet Densmore (504) 913-3395.
Chloé Harville, a dancer and photographer, teaches dance to people of all ages, body types and skill levels. Most of her classes are based in belly dance, but she also teaches foundations of dance, music video–inspired choreography classes, dance for burlesque, and open-level dance fitness. All classes are taught at Taberna (101 Central Ave., Bay St. Louis).
The schedule is posted at tabernabsl.com or on Taberna’s Facebook page. Private lessons are available, but you must book at least two days in advance.
Harville also offers lessons in conceptual fine art photography. Students can view the area through their lenses and create unique works of art to take home. Visit cdoriann.com to view Chloé's portfolio.
Kat Fitzpatrick - drawing, encaustic (beeswax), or mixed media classes. Contact Kat at 352-281-7704 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Beginning, medium and advanced skill levels for adults or highly motivated teens.
Kat teaches a system of shapes and techniques that can unlock your ability to see and render the beauty of your world. Encaustic medium is a luscious and ancient form of painting with molten wax that she has been using in her own work for 13 years. See also Katfish Studio, 233 Boardman Avenue, BSL.
Dale Pohl, is a painter, an art teacher, a mother of four, an observer, and a general haver of fun! Her studio/gallery, The Nest, offers children’s classes during the school year, summer art camps, adult art experiences, and parties for children and adults by appointment. Process is important, so projects include printmaking, painting, clay, and anything interesting that arises.
Although she has a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, twelve years of teaching experience, and is certified by the state of Mississippi, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Dale INSISTS that art training is not required to create meaningful works that make you happy, and would love to prove it to you!
Schedule a “Grand Art Day” (a private class with visiting grandchildren) or a “Trolley Stop Workshop” (hop off, have some art fun, hop back on!) by contacting Dale at 228-671-9123 or email@example.com.
Karen Anne Renz
Karen Anne Renz has been teaching drawing and painting skills for more than 18 years. Karen Anne’s School of Fine Art offers art classes for youth and adults in a nine-month program from September through May and an annual youth summer art camp in July for students ages 5–14.
The Sip, Dip-N-Stroke classes for adults offer an evening of wine and painting on the third Friday of the month. Private parties for a minimum of eight adults are available.
All classes are taught at the Bay Arts Center, 833 U.S. 90 Suite 9, Bay St. Louis. Call 228-467-2110 or visit bayartscenter.com.
Joanna Slay offers beginning-to-novice instruction in the art of mosaics using such material as repurposed broken dishes to discarded tiles. Students can create and learn the versatile art of mosaics in a one-day workshop held at Clay Creations, 220 Main Street, Bay St Louis.
The next public workshop is scheduled for Saturday, July 15. All materials, tools, instruction and refreshments are included, and you will take home your own mosaic.
Classes are limited to ten people and begin at 9 a.m., finishing around 3 p.m. with an hour break for lunch.
Private workshops for five or more can be scheduled either at your location, Slay’s private Biloxi studio, or at Clay Creations.
Visit joannaslay.com or call 228-217-9212.