By Barbara Johnson Ross, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art
On September 15, 2012 a ribbon cutting by Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway, Harrison County Supervisor Windy Swetman, Biloxi City Councilman George Lawrence, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art Board President Larry Clark and Emeritus Board Member Jerry O’Keefe officially opened the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum’s new City of Biloxi Center for Ceramics. The Center is the fourth and largest of five Frank Gehry designed buildings. The 11,249 square foot structure is clad in brick, white stucco, and stainless steel. The four floors of the Center house a professional pottery studio, programming space, community meeting space, administrative offices, and a storage vault. Hurricane doors protect the first floor of the structure and the Kiln and Equipment Bay.
The ribbon cutting kicked off Art Fair ExtraOHRdinaire, a grand two-day festival of creativity and talent in the arts across the museum campus – something special, fun, exciting and interesting for both adults and children. The festival featured artists and craftsmen who demonstrated stone carving, wood turning, blacksmithing, pottery making, ceramic sculpture, boat building, cast net making, small glass blowing, mixed media sculpture, and weaving. Artwork and art wares were for sale and hands-on art took place in the Family Art Tent. Also available were local cuisine, books signings, poster signings, film viewings, gallery exhibits, and a wine and cheese café. Live music was provided by The House Katz, Sista Jazz Band, Creole String Beans, the Magnolia Chamber Orchestra, Lisa Mills, King Edward Blues Band, and Walter Wolfman Washington and the Roadmasters. For craft beer lovers, the wOHRt Beer Garden featured the limited edition “wOHRt 2012” craft beer, an American Red Lager.