After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast, many area residents turned to art for comfort and used that art to help rebuild their lives and their communities.
In Bay St. Louis, a community with a long artistic tradition that lost all 52 of the places where locals and visitors had once been able to buy art, residents created an arts recovery program to assist local artists in making, marketing or selling their art. Additionally, the Arts Recovery Group organized a traveling exhibit to help promote local artists’ work.
In Ocean Springs, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art – among other local institutions – began to feature more local artists’ work, providing area residents struggling to recover from the storm with a much-needed outlet to sell their art.
Both communities are thriving once again, and it is art that lies at the core of their recoveries.