The Holiday Artwalk
- story by Karen Fineran, photos by Ellis Anderson
The December Second Saturday Artwalk in Bay St. Louis is traditionally the liveliest of the year-long series of events. On December 12th, from 4-8 p.m., the sounds of familiar carols, the smell of fresh-baked treats, and the laughter of giddy children in Old Town will blend to make the evening seem like a happy illustration from a Dr. Suess book.
But it’s no illusion. Bay St. Louis offers the authentic holiday experience, and even the Grinch himself wouldn’t be able to dampen spirits.
Each month, the spotlight falls on two businesses. The December Hot Spots are Clay Creations (220 Main Street) and Green Canyon Outfitters (108 South Beach).
220 Main Street
This Second Saturday (December 12 from 4-8 p.m.), be sure to come by the corner of Main and Toulme to visit one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Old Town Bay St. Louis, Clay Creations. Clay Creations is a working studio that is shared with the artists of Gallery 220, a co-op of 26 working local artists and craftsmen.
“Clay Creations” are handmade sculptures, primarily of beloved architectural structures and businesses in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast. The pieces are sculpted from white clay, hand-painted, and fired in kilns on the premises.
In 1983, ceramic artist Jenise McCardell left New Orleans to move to Bay St. Louis and form her own working studio, Clay Creations. For over two decades now, Jenise and her husband Mark Currier have been creating their architectural renderings in clay, and the pair have a loyal following of customers who have been collecting the nostalgic plaques for many years.
After the destruction of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, McCardell and Currier were the first business owners to revive the tradition of Second Saturday, hosting the event just weeks after the storm, and inviting townspeople and other artists to participate in what turned out to be a cathartic and healing town reunion. In fact, the couple held the event at their studio on a weekly basis for the next several months.
Countless renderings of Clay Creation’s plethora of designs have been fired over the years, depicting regional homes, churches, schools and businesses. For a very special Christmas gift with that personal touch, Jenise can even design custom pieces (such as your loved one’s home or business) from any photo you provide.
Clay Creation’s own Mark Currier is the featured artist this week at Gallery 220, next door to Clay Creations. Be sure to stop by this Saturday to check out his newest passion, nautical driftwood sculptures. Any mariner or ocean-lover on your shopping list would love to receive one of Currier’s evocative driftwood sailboats.
A ceramic plaque from Clay Creations can turn any wall into a tribute to those special places from Now or from Then, and the smaller pieces make perfect Christmas tree ornaments or stocking stuffers. Come by on Saturday to visit with Jenise and Mark, listen to some acoustic guitar music, gnosh on some complementary jambalaya, and view the more than 1000 different designs on display at their studio!
During the week, hours can vary, so drop by, give them a call at (228) 466-6347, or send an email at email@example.com.
Green Canyon Outfitters
108 South Beach
(upstairs in the French Settlement Building)
Yoga pants for mom? Check. Bicycle pants for your sister? Check. Sunglasses for your son? Check. And a cozy fleece jacket is always a perfect gift, especially with the winter chills coming our way soon (inventory changes seasonally). Brands carried in the store include Patagonia, Vineyard Vines, OluKai footwear, and Rayban sunglasses.
Owner and Gulf Coast native Brennan Marlowe started Green Canyon Outfitters’ online business out of his home years ago. In 2012, he opened its first bricks and mortar retail store here in Bay St. Louis, managed by his fiancé Megan Robinson.
The online side of the business,GreenCanyonOutfitters.com, can ship directly to your home from its warehouse in Long Beach, and offers a large inventory of outdoor camping and sporting equipment and apparel, including tents, hammocks, fishing reels, tackle boxes, fish finders, coolers, binoculars, and biking gear and accessories. Brands carried include Penn fishing reels and Bushnell binoculars.
Store hours are 10-5 on Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 12-5 on Sundays. The store even offers bicycle repair on site! For more information, call 228-344-3108.