Page 30 - Play Coastal Mississippi - Spring, 2024
P. 30

  artwork by Michael Richardson
story by Lynn Lofton
photos courtesy of Michael Richardson, Paulette Dove, Julie Reyes, and Marian Glaser
 a community of creativity
Local Artists of the Mississippi Coast
There’s a tradition of outstanding artists on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The natural beauty, culture and history seem to foster creativity. The two most famous local artists are Walter Anderson and George Ohr, each of whom has an art museum to showcase their creations. While their legacy lives on, many living local artists continue to create in a number of media. We spotlight just a few but both museums continuously feature the works of local artists.
“The purpose of our Gulf Coast Community Gallery is to highlight artists from, and often reflective of, the region, exposing them to our regular audience, as well as attracting a regional audience that comes especially for this gallery,” said David Houston, executive director of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi.
He says one example of a significant local artist is the long time Gulfport artist Michael Richardson. “He was a Fulbright Fellow to Indonesia and is an artist and a master puppeteer. He has exhibited widely and continues to teach and grow creatively.”
Richardson came to the Coast 30 years ago and is proud to call it home. “I say I’m a retired puppeteer because I’m too old to do that now,” he says. “However, I’m very involved with print making and drawing on fabric.”
He also enjoyed a fellowship in India and calls himself a graphic artist. “I make prints the real way with wood cuts and I make metal plates for printing,” he said. Starting this month he’s teaching print making at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg as an adjunct professor.

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