Past, Present and Future Collide in Biloxi Mississippi – Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art to Open in November
The Mad Potter of Biloxi Mississippi, George E. Ohr and his legacy were honoured this weekend with the opening of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi. Designed by internationally re-known architect Frank Gehry the four acre campus sits at the edge of the beautiful Mississippi Sound. Gehry says of his design "My intuition was clearly searching for a connection with the character and spirit of Biloxi Mississippi. It's a cluster of modest museum buildings that are dancing well with each other and the oak trees which was always my intent. It looks like it's working, and I'm very pleased. In the end this is a museum complex serving a wide variety of artists who have been collected by the institution centered around the great George Ohr and his genius work, which has been an inspiration to me for many years."
Five years after Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of the new campus, the Museum is celebrating the completion of Phase I of their stunning facility with the opening of four buildings: The Mississippi Sound Welcome Center offering visitors information services, a Café, Museum Store, and exhibitions by Mississippi ceramic artists; the IP Casino Resort Spa Exhibitions Gallery with a focus on contemporary artists who personify the independent and innovative spirit of George Ohr; and the Gallery of African American Art featuring work about or by African Americans and the ethnic diversity of the Gulf Coast. The Pleasant Reed Interpretive Center, already open to the public, honors the life and work of Pleasant Reed, who moved to Biloxi with his family following the end of the Civil War and emancipation.
Total cost of Phase I construction represents $22 million of the total $35 million projected to complete the entire campus. Phase II which includes the final two Gehry designs: The City of Biloxi Center for Ceramics and the George E. Ohr Gallery (the “Pods”) is projected to be completed in the year 2012.
Opening exhibitions feature the work of Mississippi artists Helene Fielder and Richmond Barthe along with artistic luminaries Andy Warhol and Jun Kaneko. Special attention will be on the 85 pieces of George Ohr pottery which will be exhibited in the Star Gallery in the Gallery of African American Art.
Images of the new campus, George Ohr and his work, and the work of exhibiting artists are available on request.
Please visit our website for details of the opening events at www.georgeohr.org
or contact Julie Gustafson email@example.com
The exhibitions are funded by the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, IP Casino Resort Spa, the R & B Feder Charitable Foundation for the Beaux-Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency.