Museum organizers with the George Ohr-O'Keefe Museum say the four pods, sitting off of Highway 90 in Biloxi, represent more than just eye-catching artistic beauty. They represent opportunity.
"It's always been about historical and cultural preservation, but we believe it's about economic development now, too," says Larry Clark, Board of Trustees President.
The economic promise of this five-part museum is what Clark believes led internationally-known architect Frank Gehry to design the 4 pods. Another attractive factor is the unique setting of the Gulf coast.
"One thing that's different about our museum is that we're in a live oak grove across the street from the Gulf of Mexico in a setting that is totally unique to anything else in the world. And we think people are going to come here and see that. When they come, they're going to fall in love in South Mississippi."
Gehry's firm, based out of Santa Monica, California, has been working on the project since 2000. Designers say they're pleased to see their design in life-size.
"It's exhilarating. There's a lot of time, effort and heart put into this project, and it's very exciting to see it coming to fruition and coming together. I can't wait," says Brian Zamora, designer.
Each pod will house some of George Ohr's pottery under a different theme. The pods took 3 and half weeks to put together and is about 40% complete. Some of the pods were designed with skylights to highlight the live oaks and create the imagery of the pods dancing with the trees.
Future plans include a glass atrium allowing patrons to walk from pod to pod without having to go outside.
As the rebuilding continues, Clark says, in the future, he knows the museum will play a part in helping to fuel the coast's economic rebirth.
Clark says he hopes to complete the 30 million dollar pavilion in five years.
The pods were open to public viewing from 10a.m. to noon on Saturday, December 1st, for free.