The talents of two prestigious artists and the works of 20 Gulf Coast High School students will be featured at an open-to-the-public reception for “Celebrate the Arts: Students and Mentors” from 5-7 pm on Tuesday, February 6th at Coast Episcopal School’s Gail Keenan Art Center.
Students who are participating in the show represent Biloxi High School, West Harrison High School, Harrison Central High School, Ocean Springs High School, and Bay St. Louis’ St Stanislaus. In addition to viewing the students’ art contributions and posters by letterpress artist Amos Paul Kennedy Jr, reception attendees will watch Kennedy pull prints on a slab roller and hear a reading by American Novelist Jesmyn Ward, a CES alumna who currently serves on the school’s Board of Directors.
During the February 6th event, cash awards for First, Second and Third Place will be awarded to three of the contributing high school students, based on judging by Sculptor Erica Larkin Gaudet, who has established two successful art galleries, Studio Waveland Gallery & Studio Inferno Gallery, and whose work has been included in public art exhibits such as The Sculpture for New Orleans Poydras Corridor Public Art, The Joan Mitchell Foundation Public Art, Louisiana Presbytere Museum, Downtown St. Joseph, MO SculptureWalk, Scope Basel, Switzerland.
Kennedy of Kennedy Prints in Detroit is able to participate in the GKAC Show due to his artist residency at the Tin Shed at the 100 Men Hall in Bay Saint Louis. Though he lives in Michigan, he is known all over the world. He will be pulling prints during the reception, and his prints will be for sale at the event. Says Kennedy about his work, which is primarily about community and communication, “I want people to feel the joy that I experience creating it.”
Jesmyn Ward, who has been twice awarded the National Book Award for Fiction, will be reading from her most recent work, Let Us Descend. Twice named winner of the coveted National Book Award, Let Us Descend has received rave reviews and was selected in November as the newest Oprah’s Book Club pick.
Individuals who would like to attend the February 6th reception are asked to RSVP to 228-452-9442 by Friday, February 2. The reception is the culmination of the “Celebrate the Arts” Show that has been on display and available for viewing by appointment since January 19, 2024.
The show has been curated by Gulf Coast Artist and Photographer Ann Madden, whose photographs and mixed media pieces have been shown at galleries all over the United States.
This is the second show curated by Madden in the current year at the independent school’s art gallery. A third, Call of the Coast: Inspirations from Land and Sea, will February 23rd and feature multiple media pieces, including some small sculptures, created by Erin Austen Abbott, Mary Ann Breen, Christina Juran, Marian Knobbe, Jennifer Kayes,Tommie Larson, Julia Reyes and Megan Zaniewski.
Coast Episcopal School is dedicated to a life-long love of learning by developing the whole child – mind, body and spirit – and providing a joyful, unique and nurturing Judeo-Christian Community that inspires its students to imagine and create a better world.
Founded in 1950, CES is a member of the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS). For information: Coast Episcopal School, 5065 Espy Avenue, Long Beach, MS, 39560. 228-452-9442. Coastepiscopalschool.org