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Gulfport Art Center Showcases Local Artists, Offers Classes, and More

My grandfather was an exceptional painter. He loved to paint scenery and animals. My family and I have several of his paintings hanging in our homes to remind us of him and his love of art. When I was 12, I took an acrylic painting class to try my hand at painting. Despite my enthusiasm, my paintings were never that great, but my grandparents hung several of my pieces in their home right next to my grandfather’s. They were always so proud of those paintings of mine, which I always thought was a bit crazy. Looking back on it now though, they hung them because they saw me in them and because art connected me and my grandfather. He found joy in looking at my art. My grandfather passed away in 2011 and I miss him very much but when I walk past his art in my home, it brings joy to my heart every time. Art is powerful that way. It crosses generations, brings us joy, challenges us, and intrigues us.

The Gulfport Art Center in downtown Gulfport in the historic Carnegie Library building is full of pieces by local artists that can bring joy to you. As soon as you walk in you are greeted by smiling staff ready to share about the center and the artists represented there. These smiling staff faces are artists themselves represented in the center from the Gulfport Galleria of Fine Arts a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing art to the citizens and visitors of Gulfport.

The showroom floor

The showcase floor is full of unique creations all for sale and ranging in prices. The art ranges from pottery, sculptures, and paintings. Even some porcelain art done by artist Marjorie Barnett. Ms. Barnett is a lover of all things art and enjoys challenging herself to try new techniques and styles. She graciously showed us her miniature sculpted scenes done with needles.

Ms. Marjorie Barnett showing her work

Marjorie Barnett piece 

Along with all the unique creations, there is currently a special exhibit at the center where artists recreate a famous piece. Famous artists such as Van Gough and Salvador Dali were recreated by our south Mississippi neighbors with amazing skill.

When you visit the center, you will not only be able to enjoy the art, but you will be able to make some art of your own.

There are several classes available for both young and old artists. Classes focusing on a range of different art. Classes include:

  • Painting (watercolor, acrylic, soon to be added oil)
  • Drawing
  • Pottery

Take a special look at the summer classes available for kids ranging from 6-15 years old.

Pottery class materials 

Take a trip downtown and see the talent of our neighbors. Sign up for a class and see your own talent. Maybe you will be like my grandfather and make something that will impact generations after you. With art the possibilities are endless.


Written by Jessica Rankin


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