Surrealistic Spectacle with Beats Antique

So I've mentioned that our art collective is always getting to participate in fun events. The Surrealistic Spectacle was no exception. Members of ACCE teamed up to make decorations, art installations, and don costumes for this event at the civic center. I decided to make a costume out of old drop cloths . su10

We live painted, had vendors set up in the courtyards, costume facepainters, belly dancers, hula hoopers, and Beats Antique put on a great show. Photo Gallery and Video of the event below (video courtesy of John Reyes)

Strange Bird Studio

I've been really busy since my last update. My good friend (and now business partner!) Catie Daniel and I have opened up a new studio in downtown Biloxi. Strange Bird Studio functions as a working studio and gallery. We have a lot of fun creating, hanging out, and meeting tourists and visitors who stop by.  We stay busy with commissions and teaching our respective classes at the Mary C O'Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education, and the Kroc center. It's a nice little location with decent foot traffic, right near the beach and casinos. We love our new home!

ACCE Expo Day! Pictures, pictures, pictures.

I think we were all running off of little to no sleep, but the expo was a hit. I think the phrases I heard most were "Wait, are y'all from here? Like, from Biloxi?" and "I've never seen art like this down here!" It was also fun to see people I haven't seen in years, hear some great live music, and watch the public participate in the art exhibits. We got some great ACCE Crew shirts, sold a lot of work, and talked to fellow art lovers. I was dead tired by 9pm, but it was so worth it. Can't wait for the next project!

Pictures in the galleries below. Click through to check out the exhibits!


Art Can Change Everything Expo/Block Party Dec 1

Art Can Change Everything Crew is hosting a Block party on Dec 1 with live music, street painting, interactive art exhibits, artist booths, and food. I'm really excited about this block party. It will drive people to the area businesses that are starting to slowly reopen, and inviting people to enjoy this space with us, and participate in the interactive exhibits will show them what we can do as a community if we all just start SHOWING UP and take ownership of the space. I just know it will flourish! Can't wait!


Below are a flyer, and a video I took that Chase edited to show what we have been up to at the Kress. So much fun!



Two articles on the Kress Building

The Kress Building and the ACCE crew made the local news! Click the photos to read the articles. Can't wait to start some new projects with this collective, and I love that Vieux Marche is being transformed into a place people want to frequent! We had another article in the local newspaper, The Sun Herald, and as soon as I can get a .gif of the article, I will post it, too.

ACCE Takes on the Kress Building

In the heart of downtown Biloxi sits View Marche, an historic park and walk district that is PERFECT for retail shops, bars, live music, live art, and nightlife- except that it sits practically abandoned. For no obvious reason.

I've never understood why the area wasn't flooded with shops, bars, music, cafes, and galleries. The location is great- about a block from the beach and casinos, so it's in walking distance for tourists. It's close to the Ohr O'Keefe museum of art (designed by world renowned architect Frank Gehry.) A tour train runs through at least twice a day, while guides describe the rich history of the area. It's right across the street from the brand new Coast Transit Authority bus station. It's right across the bridge from hip/artsy Ocean Springs.

I'm not sure if the shops moved out first, or if people just stopped frequenting the area, but at one time, it was apparently a bustling area. Before Hurricane Katrina swept through, there was a vintage book store, a few bars, a coffee shop/deli or two, but it still never seemed to hit its full potential.

One of the buildings in Vieux Marche is the old Kress Building. It was originally an old department store, erected in 1925. It was used off and on (with some renovation occurring the 1990, I believe) but nothing seemed to stick. After Hurricane Katrina it sat abandoned, until real estate developer Charles (Chase) Taylor snatched it up, and together with Angie Molyneaux (Gallery 782) they hatched a plan to transform the building into an outdoor gallery.

For over a year, Angie had been dreaming of livening up the area with outdoor art. She pitched the idea to Chase, and he graciously agreed to let artists use the old Kress building as an outdoor gallery while renovations were taking place on the inside. Chase and Angie tracked down over 20 young artists to paint murals on the ugly particle board that was currently covering the huge windows. With this group they formed a collective called Art Can Change Everything (which we lovingly refer to as ACCE.) I was lucky enough to be included in this group of artists, and it has been one of the best experiences of my life.

We had meetings. LOTS of meetings. We didn't tell anyone our plan- just the few of us involved. We planned for weeks- they arranged to get lifts, scaffolding, lights, music. We divvied up boards, and all planned out what we would paint. We trudged out to the building as night fell on Friday, October 19th, brushes, paint, spray paint, duct tape, and wheatpaste in hand. We stayed up for hours painting in the middle of the night- equipment beeping, music blaring, people laughing, sharing paint. Unexpected visitors dropping by to see what the hell we were all up to in the middle of the night.

We worked this way for three days. At any given time SOMEONE was at the building. Artists were still arriving at 2am, 5am, 12pm. We just worked and hung out as a community, and the space was filled with life. It was SO amazing.

I think I only got about 6 hours of sleep in three whole days, but it was worth it, and I would do it all over again- and I suspect we will.