At the Waveland Ground Zero Hurricane Museum, it will be a year focused on storms and how they affect everything around here: our local culture, our ecology, even our art.
- by John Dumoulin; photos by Ellis Anderson
“Although the museum’s main take-away theme is the resilience and strength of our community,” said Bernie Cullen, president of the Museum Board, “We learned from hosting the Smithsonian Crossroads exhibit last summer that we need to offer a variety of new experiences if we want residents and visitors to return.”
To that end, the museum has permanently dedicated one of its galleries to temporary and traveling exhibits and announced plans for three temporary exhibitions in 2022.
“Different as they are, the three exhibits this year will have something in common,” Cullen said. “They will show how Mother Nature’s hurricanes are forces of change and influencers on local culture and art, as well as its ecology.”
The first exhibit, “Secret Coast,” opened January 7 and will run through April 1. Partially funded by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, the exhibit explores the coastal Mississippi culture as seen through the eyes of local illustrator and author J. Michael Dumoulin. See “Secret Coast: Pascagoula to Pontchartrain” in last month’s Shoofly Magazine for more details.
“Secret Coast” will be replaced this summer by “Talkative Trees,” an interpretive exhibit by Lindsey Taylor Henriques based on her senior thesis paper for the Arts College at Louisiana State University. The show will feature local species of trees; explore different types of information that we can obtain from them; and cover some of the methods used to gather that information. This exhibit will open Friday, June 3, and run through Saturday, August 27.
Coming this fall, the Ground Zero Museum will present “Quilt Trails: Stories Through Fabric.” The exhibit will celebrate the art of storytelling through quilts and other fiber arts, featuring the museum’s Katrina Collection of lap quilts by Solweig Wells. This exhibition is partially funded by an American Rescue Plan grant administered through the Mississippi Humanities Council. This last temporary exhibit of 2022 will run from October 7 through January 14. Anyone interested in displaying family heirloom story quilts or who would like to contribute to the exhibit’s theme of fabric or fiber art storytelling can call the museum at (228) 467-9012, or contact Bernie Cullen at email@example.com. Better yet, drop by 335 Coleman Avenue; the museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 am until 3 pm.
Master quilt-maker Solveig Wells used the medium to explore the Katrina experience after the storm. Solveig has since passed on, but her husband David Wells was on hand for an unveiling of her collection at the Waveland Ground Zero Museum in 2014. Solveig's photo and quilted self-portrait are in the background.
In addition to the three temporary exhibits, the Ground Zero Museum has plans to expand their permanent collections in 2022 and improve how such artifacts are displayed; offer more lectures and exhibit-related programs; and add more interactives in each exhibit hall, especially for children. The museum’s board is also looking into ways to better support local education curriculum, including school field trips.
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