The Singing River Art Association will have a grand reopening Sept. 16 in conjunction with downtown Pascagoula’s Third Friday events.
The art association’s gallery recently moved across the street from its old location inside the Downtown Buffet and Grill to its new home at 618 Delmas Ave., the former location of Arts on the Avenue.
The Singing River Art Association has been around for 60 years and the gallery is run by artists of the River Gallery Workshop.
The gallery moved because the art association is adding a complete ceramics studio workshop and offering workshops, demonstrations and classes, administrators said. Classes include ceramics, painting, drawing, sculptures and jewelry-making.
Outgoing president Phillip Pine said he feels lucky to have been a part of the art association for the past six years.
“I started taking pottery lessons after I retired,” Pine said. “And after about six lessons I was totally addicted to it. It’s a lot of fun to get muddy.”
Drawing classes are scheduled on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m.
Monday night classes are underway and Saturday classes will begin in September.
Wheel-thrown pottery also is taking place on Monday nights and is taught by Alice Lachaussee. Nine wheels and two kilns are available. Canvas and cocktail painting classes are planned in which participants can bring their own wine to enjoy while painting.
The gallery has about 75 to 80 members. The annual sign-up fee to become an art association member is $24.
“We hope to have this year a lot of community development-type classes where we work with schools, churches and children to become the art center of Pascagoula,” Pine said.
To sign up for classes, guests can visit the association or email the new SRAA president, Bill McWhorter, at mcwhorterB4@gmail.com.
About 25 artists are in the association and they display their work. The cost of displaying work in the gallery is $20 per month. The gallery shows paintings, photography, prints, ceramics and jewelry. Artists volunteer their time once a month to be able to display their pieces.
McWhorter invites artists who want to join the association to visit the gallery. So many artists have already signed up that they have begun a waiting list. In order to have their work shown, artists need to fill out a form and bring examples of their pieces. The pieces must be approved by a management team.
The gallery plans to have visiting artists conduct daily workshops.
“A lot of people tend to associate art galleries and arts and crafts with Ocean Springs,” said Kay Maghan on her first visit to the new location. “I think it’s great that Pascagoula is showcasing what is here on the other side of the county.”
Maghan said she gravitates toward pottery and photography. Three of her favorite pieces in the gallery are a fish bowl, mixing bowl and dragon-fly vase.
“What’s even better,” she said, “is that they offer classes in pottery and painting so that more people can channel their artistic side.”
A great opportunity
“We had an opportunity to partner with the city of Pascagoula,” McWhorter said, “to help them build up the downtown area and bring some events and excitement to downtown Pascagoula.”
The ribbon cutting will be 4 p.m. Sept. 16 with the grand reopening from 5 to 8 p.m.
“We wanted to use the vicinity of the additional advertising and the crowd from Third Friday for our grand reopening,” McWhorter said.
Light refreshments and entertainment are expected as well as live paining and ceramics demonstrations. It will be a family- friendly affair involving face painting and caricatures.
The pieces generated by the artists during the event will be put up for auction at the end of the night.
“We are looking for artists to come join our association and bring arts to the community,” McWhorter said, “and also let people know that we are a big player that shouldn’t be ignored along the Coast when people are looking for galleries and workshops to see local art.”
If you go
What: Grand reopening for Singing River Art Association Gallery
Where: 618 Delmas Ave., Pascagoula
When: The ribbon cutting will be 4 p.m. Sept. 16 with the grand reopening celebration from 5 to 8 p.m.