Ohr-O'Keefe back on Town Green

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - At this year's Ohr's festival, the art didn't stay on under tents or on tables; it moved to four wheels.

The festival introduced a new attraction, sponsored by the Hard Rock, called Paint the Van.

"We have a van at the museum that was white, and now, you can see it's not. It's been a great hit today," says Julie Gustafson, development manager for Ohr-O'keefe Museum.

It lured quite a few future talents to its colorful pallet.

"When I grow up, I want to become an artist," says aspiring artist Sydney Murphy.

A professional artist will come in after the festival and help clean up the artwork, in particular the mirrors and windshield so the van can hit the streets.

Festival favorites also made their return. Among them, the urn challenge where kids can help create the coast's largest clay pot. It's a replica of the one created by George Ohr.

The festival featured a tent full of activities for kids and 60 vendors including artists and local eateries. There were also demonstrations like blacksmithing and wood sculpting. The intricate carvings of honorary Biloxian and wood sculptor Marlin Miller can be seen across the coast. Miller made the sculptures from dead trees after Hurricane Katrina.

"It's just a wonderful chance to get your family out and involved in the arts," says Gustafson.

"It think it's excellent. I think we need to do more things like this especially for our children and show them some of our heritage on the coast," says Monique Jalanivich of Biloxi.

Construction on the new Ohr-O'Keefe museum is scheduled to wrap up November of 2010.

The festival goes through 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2 and kids 12 and under are free.

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