Emotional Nature

The Gulf Coast has produced plenty of well-known artists, including the very renowned Walter Anderson. Anderson pledged his life to communion with nature in 1947 and moved to a cottage in Shearwater, frequently visiting a group of barrier islands along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where he lived primitively through the end of his life in 1965. Living on the island, he sought to become one with nature.

His art has been catalogued in homes throughout Mississippi since his death. The largest collection of his work—over 600 pieces—has been in the Ocean Springs Walter Anderson Museum of Art since 1991.

His "attention to nature" is what draws in viewers, Hilda Owen, president of Communication Arts Company, says. "It's just a very emotional look at nature."

Though the museum sustained little damage during Hurricane Katrina, Anderson's art home, Shearwater, did. Shearwater housed many of Anderson's prints. Because water did get onto some of the pieces, which were wrapped in protective paper, the images did bleed a bit onto the paper, resulting in "ghost prints."

The Walter Anderson Museum has teamed up with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Jackson Arts and Music Foundation to present "Shadow of the Storm" a one-night-only exhibit of Anderson's work, Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m., in a dual fund raiser for the Walter Anderson Art Rescue Fund and the Jackson Arts and Music Foundation.

The event, at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, features auctions of Anderson originals (including some of the resulting ghost prints) and other works, including Tony Difatta's 2005 Jubilee!JAM poster.

The Anderson family will speak about the hurricane damage to Shearwater, and the museum will screen sneak previews of "Walter Anderson: Realizations of an Artist" at 5 and 8 p.m. The film features a previously unseen 8mm film clip of Anderson. Both of the producers will be at the event.

"Shadow of the Storm," a one-night exhibit and fund raiser runs Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, I-55 at Lakeland Drive, $25. For more information, call 601-353-9800.


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