OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - The Walter Anderson Museum of Art is now 30 years old, and coming out of a pandemic. Officials have decided it’s a good time to re-brand, and in the process re-invigorate, re-focus and re-invent the future of the museum.
For the museum, part of that rebranding is a new logo that is already being used on some of the promotional products.
“We’re still moving ahead,” said WAMA executive director Julian Rankin. “Anderson and artists are all about inventiveness. And, so we’ve embraced that inventiveness and we’re real excited here, again on the 30th anniversary of the museum, to be turning open a new chapter, a new page and moving forward with some real dynamism and energy.”
Part of that new future is the new creative complex across the street, and the first phase is nearly complete. Thanks to $636,000 of Gulf Coast Restoration Fund money, along with other private and public support, the museum can continue with the next phases.
“We wouldn’t be here and doing what we are doing across the street with this Creative Complex development without that support,” Ranking said. “And it really is, for us, an entrée into science and innovation and engineering. Things that people don’t necessarily think of Walter Anderson as depicting and thinking about.”
Everything the museum is planning is connected to that concept, from new fundraising efforts to even the exhibits planned.
“Something we’re looking at is how do we take Walter Anderson into this next stage of the museum, making his art more applicable to our daily lives,” said Mattie Codling, WAMA’s director of collections and exhibitions. “So, looking at such things as climate change, science, industry and how he is really pivotal to the culture of the Gulf Coast.”
The new phrase “The South’s Most Elusive Artist,” is in part to describe his deeper connection, and with every new branding comes a new logo that the museum has already started to put on products.
“Really the new brand is looking at everything that the museum has been and everything we want it to be as well,” Codling said.
The museum is planning what it’s calling the “largest single fundraising” for WAMA. It’s the Pearls & Pelicans 30th Anniversary online and in-person auction Sept. 23-25.