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Food and Fun at Art in the Pass


by Anne Jenkins

Photos contributed by Anne Jenkins, Art In the Pass management, Barbara Roberds and Sherry Lutz.

New Orleans enchants, and can overload the senses, with the wide array of art at well-known spots like the galleries of Royal Street and the Warehouse District or Jazz Fest, and the Gulf Coast draws thousands with it's pearly white beaches. But dig a bit deeper and there are truly wonderful art spots tucked away in New Orleans and the festivals along the coast.

Booths set up with the sea in the background at Art in the Pass

My favorite festival on the coast is the annual Art in the Pass held in Pass Christian, Mississippi. The setting beats most festivals hands down with it's location in a park next to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Generally all art markets and festivals are just plain fun to attend. There's a fabulous array of good art at affordable prices. You get to talk with the artist which always makes buying that piece of artwork so much more special. You snack on foods you can't eat every day and walk around nice areas.

And in this case, it's a really nice area. Held among the War Memorial Park's shady trees where you can sit and look out over the Gulf as the water laps on the beach. At it's tranquil best it's hard to believe Hurricane Katrina pretty much smashed this part of the coast to smithereens. Everyone has worked hard to rebuild and the arts scene in the area is buzzing again.

Artist demonstration at Art in the Pass

The well-established 2-day festival, held this year April 10/11, hosts a variety of regional artists who are juried in to the show. They come from far and near - Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi - to put up their tents and help you enjoy and buy art. There's always a good representation from the big art dog in the region - New Orleans, like the well-known and colorful Martin Welch with his unique paintings of crabs, shrimps and much more.



Barbara Roberds photos of shotgun houses set in a window frame

Then there's also Hammond, La., photographer, digital cameras Barbara Roberds, who frames her hand-tinted photos in salvaged materials such as windows and cabinet doors. She reworks them in to unique pieces of art which are always a talking point on anyone's walls.



Sherry Lutz's exquisite
seafood Covered Jar

Renown potter from Folsom, La., Sherry Lutz is a perennial favorite. Her imaginative pieces are beautiful to behold and practical to use.

Self-taught British artist, Anne Jenkins currently of Union Point, Ga., sells colorful scenes from her years living in New Orleans and various places in-between. And Californian transplant to Louisiana, artist Trish Ransom of Grand Coteau, La., delights with her debris art - fish, jewelry, you name it, made from bits and pieces of, well, debris. It's fun and most of these artists recycle in some way.

Anne Jenkins Marsh Port

There's a good cause to support as well - all the artists donate a piece of their art for a silent auction. The proceeds from the auction benefits the Dot Hector Memorial Art Scholarship and the Gretchen Harris Memorial Scholarship. The festival's steering committee has a long term and worthwhile goal to establish a foundation dedicated to funding art programs in the public schools on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where these programs are currently unavailable.

If you're staying close by in the little arts town of Bay St. Louis, Ms., you can really talk the art walk and walk the art walk by also attending the monthly 2nd Saturday Artwalk all through the Old Town for late shopping hours (4pm-8pm) with live bands and food all through the Old Town and Depot District of Bay St. Louis, Ms. The town was devastated by Katrina and is making a remarkable comeback. It certainly deserves support.

Anne Jenkins Booth

And as it happens, in close by New Orleans it is also French Quarter Festival weekend - a fun, free extravaganza of the local music scene. It gets pretty packed and parking can be a hassle but the local music is blissful. This is a city packed with good music and art, sometimes the choices can be mind-boggling. But here's an insiders tip: a definite must do when visiting the city - if you're there at the right time, is to go to one of the regularly held juried art markets. There are quite a number now but here's the two I strongly recommend.


The Bywater Art Market is held on the third Saturday of each month in Markey Park at the corner of Royal and Piety in the Bywater neighborhood and Arts Market of New Orleans (run by the Arts Council of New Orleans) is held on the last Saturday of each month in Palmer Park. Both markets run from 10-4 and local artists set up their tents (mostly in the same spot each month) and sell their art work. It is a feast for the senses and easy on the pocket book.

The Bywater Art Market is the original art market in the city, it started operations in 2002, and has been around the longest and has a loyal following of artists and collectors - they often do special events like Bark at the Park, they also have music, food and you get to explore the small neighborhood of Bywater. Arts Market is the bigger market of the two and they also have special events and a fun booth for the kids tagging along.

Anne Jenkins New Orleans second line

Some artists have been there since the early days of each market. Amond these are Hannah Cohen of Red Beans & Nice's magical folk art, Linda Berman of Drunk Monkey Studio does raku and paintings, Darrin Butler?s incredible art on wood, Katie Northey Gruntz's fabulous jewelry, Heather Elizabeth Designs, Lauren Thomas fiber art and Philip Thomson - there's an exciting and long list of talented artists. Best of all, you also get to meet lots of interesting characters and buy really cool art at each market. Don't miss them if you can help it.

Finding art off the beaten track is fun to hunt down and this area offers rich pickings - go out and explore - have fun and buy some really good art at affordable prices. Can it get any better?


Information on businesses: 10/11 April from 10-4 each day at the War Memorial Park, corner of Scenic Dr & Fleitas Ave, Pass Christian, MS 39570

Click to learn about Anne Jenkins

Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.

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