After a two-year hold due to COVID, The Arts, Hancock County has hit the ground running this fall with three major events scheduled during the month of September – including the grand opening of their new headquarters.
- by Connie Voight
The popular Sip & Paint classes feature an experienced instructor to guide the class – in this case, Janelle Mullen, who’s had years of experience teaching at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans. The class theme is “Funky Fish.” All materials are provided, and participants are invited to bring along snacks and the beverage of their choice.
To register for the Sip and Paint, click here. View a preview of the Cabi Collection popup show here. A portion of the proceeds from the Cabi show goes directly to The Arts, Hancock County.
Then, on September 10, in conjunction with the decades-old Bay St. Louis Second Saturday Artwalk, another in the series of “Art Without Walls” pop-up markets will be held at 405 Blaize Avenue – rain or shine. This month, the theme is “Back to School Bash” and offers special arts activities for children.
Art Without Walls participating artists and attendees have been equally enthusiastic about the monthly pop-up markets in the historic depot location. Award-winning painter Elizabeth Schafer calls it a “fabulous event to purchase unique artwork from a variety of local artists. And you never know what treasures you’ll find for yourself, or for gifts.”
For this month’s market, volunteers will open Imagination Station from noon to 4 pm. It’s one of the organization’s outreach projects that encourages children to explore their creativity.
Also on the 10th, Rosie Dumoulin will be teaching Introduction to Drawing 1-3 pm for ages 12 through adult.
“Paying close attention to what our eyes are telling us and putting that vision onto paper is the first step in learning to draw,” says Rosie, member and longtime art educator. The class lasts for two hours and costs $25 per person (discount for members of The Arts). Register in advance online for this class, as participation is limited.
The Arts organization will close out the action-packed day with their annual Art of the Cocktail Mixologist competition, also held at the 405 Blaize Avenue location, from 6 to 10 pm. Each mixologist brings their own ingredients and if possible, hor d’oeuvres to complement their creation. The Arts will furnish paper goods and glasses.
The winner is decided by a vote by attendees, and the event is open to the public (donations welcome). Mixologists should register in advance. Registration is not required for attendees.
Prize creator and Arts board member Joan Coleman wants everyone to know that this “is a fun competition for any mixologist who thinks they have a unique, delicious drink. Decided by people’s choice, winners may become notorious – if not famous – by winning!”
Finally, the capstone to September’s creative offerings is the official opening of the arts center on the 17th.
Arts board member Mamie Hillary made it possible for the organization to acquire the building in 2020, which has since been renovated to serve as the organization’s headquarters.
“I am so excited that this day has finally come, and the doors to our new home will be officially open!” she said.
“Yes, we have more work to do [renovating the building], but classes have begun, workshops are scheduled, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s creativity explode! That’s what art is all about!”
Complete with an official Hancock Chamber ribbon-cutting, the opening festivities begin at 6 pm on the 17th and continue until 9 pm. After the ceremony, the public is invited to a reception with city officials. The center’s gallery will be officially open for the first time, featuring art created by the organization’s original founders.
“The grand opening celebration is our introduction to the community,” said John Anderson, organization president. “It’s a chance to show people what we are all about.”
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