New director has big plans for WAMA

Rosemary Roosa
Rosemary Roosa

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Walter Anderson Museum of Art in downtown Ocean Springs recently unveiled a new 2,000 square foot expansion.

More importantly, a new executive director was named by the board that oversees the museum.

Rosemary Roosa served as interim director for a few months, but was given the job on a permanent basis on January 31.

Rosemary Roosa has landed her dream job. Even though this is her first time running a museum, the artist's work is in her blood.

"The first thing I did when I bought a home back in 1993 was come down and buy several pieces of Walter Anderson so I've grown up with Walter Anderson," Roosa explained.

Anderson's art has always reflected his love for nature. That love is not hard to spot. What's also not hard to spot is Roosa's love for community involvement.

"We try and stay very active with the local community. We offer programs for the locals. We have summer camps, and we offer free tours to our seniors," Roosa said.

It's probably safe to say that the Walter Anderson Museum of Art is well known in Mississippi and indeed across the southern region. But nationally and internationally, not so much.

Roosa plans on changing that.

"We are currently working on a grant from the Deepwater Horizon program that is to promote tourism and we hope with that to get into more national magazines international magazines. Flight magazines to let people know about Walter Anderson and make it more of a destination," Roosa said.

She has another goal in mind as well.

"Well I would certainly like to see the state more involved because the arts are so critical to Mississippi," Roosa said.  "We've got some beautiful writers and artists and photographers."

Running a world class museum seems like it might be nothing, but fun, but there are challenges that have to be conquered every day, according to Roosa.

"It's like any organization, whether you're large or small. You're having to deal with people. You're having to deal with the paperwork. Keep it all straight, particularly with a non-profit with the transparency," Roosa said.

What's also transparent is Roosa's dedication and drive to make the museum the must see place to go for visitors and locals alike, now and in the future.

The next big event for the museum will the WAMA Gala, the years major fundraiser. That is scheduled for this coming Saturday evening.

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