The Gulf Coast Art Association was organized at a meeting of coast artists on November 8, 1926. We may very well be the oldest art organization now in existence on the Coast.
The late Josephine Alfonso, of Gulfport, was so devoted to the group that members credit her for the continuing success of the GCAA. Se served as president from 1951 to 1953. In recognition of her contributions, our Fall Art Exhibit has been dedicated in her memory and named for her.
The object of the GCAA is to encourage the appreciation of visual arts in communities of South Mississippi, to hold exhibitions of art works and to exchange exhibitions with other art associations.
Katrina has had a profound affect on our association and our artists. She hit a day prior to the opening of our 2005 Fall Art Exhibit. She flooded and damaged our meeting place, Handsboro Community Center, and there is of yet no word of when it will be repaired and put back into use. Many of our artists lost their homes, their studios, their art supplies and their work. Due to loss and damage, we have lost members who have relocated to other areas as a direct result of the impact of Hurricane Katrina. In addition, the Gulfport Harrison County Library, where the GCAA has maintained an exhibit for decades, was destroyed. The fate of that building (which sits gutted on Highway 90 in Gulfport) is yet to be decided. Word has it that it is up to the city of Gulfport, who owns the land, as to what will happen to that branch of the library.
Nevertheless, after a few months of not having meetings, the group began meeting again at the First United Methodist Church in Gulfport, and our numbers in attendance are strong. Artists are again trying to get back to painting and get their lives back in order.
We shall persevere and be here for a long time to come!
Page created 4/23/06