August 11, 4pm - 8pm
- stories by Grace Wilson
Be sure to check out "Hot Spots" Art, Collectibles and Antiques (442 Main Street) and The Loft Yoga (111 Court Street). You can read all about them below!
Over the past twenty years, the monthly artwalk has become one of the most popular events in the region. Old Town stays lively all day, with many merchants and restaurants offering specials.
The pace picks up from 4pm – 8pm, when gallery openings and live music keep the streets humming with activity.
Be sure to check out "Hot Spots" Art, Collectibles and Antiques (442 Main Street) and The Loft Yoga (111 Court Street).
Second Saturday Artwalk
Art, Collectibles and Antiques
442 Main Street
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
For Second Saturday, August 11, everything in Art, Antiques and Collectibles will be 25-75% off with special $5 and $10 tables.
Phillip La Grange and Herbie Pursley are at the helm of this breathtaking collection, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
La Grange and Pursley have been collecting and restoring fine antiques and art for over 30 years and are bringing a lifetime of acquisitions to the Bay and Pass Christian for one final sale, which they anticipate will take two years or more to liquidate.
“I came out of retirement to help and here I am,” La Grange said.
Many know La Grange from his former antique spots: he had one of the first antique shops in Old Town on Court Street, another called Magnolia Place at the corner of Main Street in the old Ramsey building and the Blue Rose in Pass Christian, which in its heyday was a restaurant where waiters donned tuxedos and patrons could browse antiques before and after a multi-course dinner.
“People would fly in from all over the country to see us - including Michael Jackson’s mother - and we’d ship worldwide,” said La Grange.
Both Pursley and La Grange have collections and talent that would be lauded in Los Angeles, New York and beyond, but the pair have proudly made their career in the Bay and Pass Christian.
“By popular request, we are reopening the Blue Rose this fall, which will be 10,000 square feet of select merchandise - rare, quality antiques and fine art.”
Being in the business for over three decades, La Grange said he’s seen the roller coaster of demands when it comes to collectors. With older generations downsizing and children often having no interest in their family’s heirlooms, the past years have been more about collecting than selling, but that is changing.
“There’s good news for sellers on the horizon,” La Grange said. “I’ve been talking to some of the most prestigious appraisers, and there is now beginning to be a tremendous resurgence in collectibility.”
In the aftermath of Katrina, from Florida to Texas, there was lots lost to the storms of that season.
“In recent years there have been floods across the nation like the ones we saw near Houston, massive fires in California, and so on,” said La Grange. “As people are replacing these rarities the pieces are bringing in higher prices than ever.”
Even young people are starting to take a second look at these collectibles, if for nothing else than investment, explains La Grange.
Many antique shops are made up of many booths from different collectors, but as you walk through Art, Antiques and Collectibles on Main Street with La Grange, you realize quickly these are all his personal treasures, each with a story or unique feature that he’s passionate about sharing.
La Grange helps shoppers look deeper at each piece, noting the intricate details, pointing out the hours of craftsmanship - much of it a lost art.
“It’s more than just property to me,” La Grange said. “I feel as if I’m preserving the craftsmanship and the labors of love. Even today I look at these dining sets and am still in awe of the years of dedicated craftsmen and hand carving - that artistry is gone.”
La Grange’s interest in antiques happened a bit by accident. After college, he saw many of his friends were making a mint buying, renovating, and selling real estate.
His first property was a house on the Jourdan River bought in the 1970s for $3,500.
“I got courageous and started buying in New Orleans - Uptown and the Garden District,” La Grange said. “Lots of times the houses would be filled with old furniture which was just thrown in with the sale.”
He used the furniture to stage houses for selling and saw the interest in the antiques.
“I was a complete novice at the time, but learned really quickly when I saw the value of antiques,” he said.
The Bay and his place on the Jourdan River was always a place for La Grange to de-stress from the hustle and bustle of the city.
“This was my refuge way back,” said La Grange. “It was laid back like it is today. There was great serenity of being on the water and getting away from the nightlife and partying in New Orleans.”
La Grange is looking forward to retirement once more.
His antiques and art - including one of the world’s largest collections of ancient blue and white Chinese porcelain - have been stored across the country, but will soon return to the Bay to be sold in an area that has been longing to replace treasures lost in the storms.
111 Court St.
Bay St Louis, MS 39520
Loft Yoga will host an Open Studio on the evening of August 11 for Second Saturday. Patrons should enter at Bodega and the Parrot Head Bar and Grill and go upstairs to tour the studio. If you are interested in joining a class, be sure to sign up on the website the day before a yoga session so the instructors can get a proper headcount.
Christine Neese and Alyssa Dausman are on a journey to create a different kind of yoga studio in Bay St. Louis.
Loft Yoga, on 111 Court Street on the second floor of Bodega, is a power yoga studio, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer the basics.
Dausman and Neese both discovered yoga as a way to release stress and strengthen, but both were skeptical about the ancient practice at first.
A scientist who came back home to work on the oil spill, Dausman began looking for an outlet from the high-stress job.
“I never went to yoga because I thought it was for crazy cuckoo vegans,” Dausman said. “Yet, when I tried it, I felt better. I kept going and started learning the science behind it.”
Yoga is a lot about breath work, but it’s not just hot air. There’s a reason for all the controlled breathing.
“Breathing is the only voluntary way we can control our nervous system,” Dausman explained. “It’s the most important thing you can do to calm your nerves.”
By day she was an oil spill restoration scientist and by night a yoga devotee who wanted to share her newfound knowledge and techniques with others.
Today she teaches yoga during the week at Stennis where she’s a Naval Special Warfare yoga specialist, but her passion for yoga has bloomed into something more with Loft Yoga.
“Yoga is not just for thin people or people who have been physically fit their whole lives, it’s for everybody,” she said. “If you can’t do it - modify. It’s all about taking care of yourself.”
“I was in to running marathons and lifting weights,” Neese recalled. “I was looking at 40 and this was very hard on my body, but I thought if it didn’t hurt it wasn’t worth the workout. No pain, no gain.”
She found herself teaching her massage clients about self care, stretching and stress management.
“I realized I was teaching them yoga, which I had no interest in and I was leading my clients in a direction where I truly needed to be,” Neese said. “I didn’t admit to anyone, but I was doing yoga in the morning - just five poses I found on the internet — I couldn’t believe the difference it made.”
Her mood was better. Soon, she couldn’t imagine starting the day without her five poses.
“Almost a year later I went into a studio and found it was so amazing sharing my yoga practice with others,” Neese said.
Dausman agrees, many people don’t come to a yoga studio because they are too afraid or intimidated. Perhaps the Loft Yoga studio is made more approachable because it's above one of Bay St. Louis' newest watering holes and restaurant: The Parrot Head Bar and Grill.
"Who says you can't have it all?" Dausman laughed. "My favorite food in the whole world is pork rinds. You don't have to be a health nut to love yoga. There are different levels of poses, so it’s all about stretching and how to preserve your lower back,” Dausman said.
Loft Yoga has something for every level, from light stretching to handstand and inversion workshops.
“Sunday morning is the most advanced class you could ever go to, and the most basic entry level is on Sunday evening,” said Dausman.
The pair are noticing that power yoga is where Loft Yoga stands out in the community.
“The type of people that come to us want something a little more rigorous and physically challenging,” Neese said. “We focus on more of the strengths part of it.”
Hot Yoga is also in the horizon at the Loft.
That doesn’t mean that entry level students should shy away.
As the famous quote goes, yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s about the journey getting there. When Dausman started, she couldn’t touch her toes, but now she can stand with her hands under her feet.
“You have to start somewhere,” said Dausman. “My motto is: ‘Power Yoga, we’ll get there together.’”