Popular exhibit returns, visitors get behind-the-scenes look at WAMA

A popular exhibit returns to the Walter Anderson Museum of Art

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Walter Anderson Museum of Art has brought back a special version of one of its more popular exhibits.

Also, this week the museum did something it’s never done before. They gave visitors behind-the-scenes access to seeing an art exhibition put together.

The Sound & the Gulf features the natural beauty of Horn Island created by students from the Memphis College of Art.

Every year since 1985, art students have made a series of 12-day trips to explore the wilderness landscape of the barrier island. Walter Anderson spent so much time on the island . It was one of his favorite places for inspiration, and the Memphis College of Arts Students followed in his footsteps.

“The main idea behind these trips out there was to get students to unplug from their daily lives and to actually be in nature. You get some much inspiration an creativity from nature that you just don’t get from a classroom,” said Curator Mattie Codling.

The Sound & the Gulf is a retrospective exhibition showcasing 34 years of the student sojourns to the island. The Memphis College of Art is closing, and The Walter Anderson Museum of Art hopes to keep the concept alive by inviting other artists to travel to and stay on Horn Island to make art.

Something unique is happening at the museum. Visitors are invited, for the first time ever, to go beyond the velvet ropes and actually watch an exhibit being put together. Usually that happens behind a veil of secrecy while the museum is changed.

“We wanted to bring people into the process. People don’t always know what it means, what goes into how an exhibit comes together or how a museum works. We wanted to give them a behind the scenes of the action,” said Executive Director Julian Rankin.

The display is titled Walter Inglis Anderson: Artist, Naturalist, Mystic. Materials being put up are part of the museum’s permanent collection, only a portion of which has ever been seen.

“We have thousands of pieces in the collection and we can only do 100 at a time. We’re telling new stories, all the best and brightest Walter Anderson works,” Rankin said.

This exhibit opens April 15. The Sound & the Gulf is currently on display through September.

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