The Walter Anderson Museum of Art is setting the stage for an epic Grecian evening as organizers prepare to hold the 26th annual WAMA Gala at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, 875 Beach Blvd., Biloxi.
Walter Anderson was renowned for his paintings of wildlife and nature, but he also had a penchant for illustrating classic literature, including the stories of "Alice in Wonderland" and "Don Quixote."
This year's gala has a Greek theme based on Anderson's depictions of "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" in his book "Illustrations of Epic and Voyage."
The gala will transport guests into an ancient odyssey with Greek-themed décor, costumed portrayers and an extensive Greek menu.
The gourmet Greek buffet, prepared by the Beau Rivage, begins with nearly a half-dozen appetizers, such as hummus, baba ganoush and tzatziki. Small plates will pair delectable vegetables and sides, such as crispy broccoli with basil, pine nuts and goat cheese; or falafel, burnt cabbage, hummus and preserved lemon.
Chafing dishes will offer selections of lamb kebabs, spanakopita (spinach pie), fattoush, moussaka, eggplant, yogurt, béchamel and Mediterranean sea bass.
Featured items include saganaki with olives and pita; leg of lamb with roasted potatoes and Greek salad; braised mussels, tomato, fresh herbs, olive oil and ouzo.
The gala will open with a cocktail hour, live music by Stellar and silent auction viewing from 6 to 7 p.m. Dinner and the live auction will start at 7.
An original Anderson line drawing in ink is likely to be the top auction item. Corey Christy, director of marketing and development, said it's a rare opportunity to purchase an Anderson piece.
"It was donated by the family, and it's a very big chance for someone. These aren't on the market very often," he said.
Christy also said talented local artists contributed greatly to the silent auction.
"It's a big thing for us to have them; we're proud to have our local artists represented," he said.
Sponsorships of $500 and more are available. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple. For more information, call 872-3164. Dress for the event is cocktail attire.