Gulfport Arts Center receives grant for renovation
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Gulfport Arts Center is receiving a big grant to make some major improvements to its aging building.
The money will give them a chance to nationally showcase renowned artists and their work in South Mississippi.
A damaged crown jewel of the Coast, the old Carnegie Library is one of the coast’s landmark buildings. While the building may hold potential, there’s no denying the fact that a facelift is much needed.
“The Gulfport Arts Center moved into this building in 2015, but the building itself is the Carnegie Library building [and] was built over 100 years ago,” said Gulfport Arts Center director Mark Kelso.
In that time, the building has seen its fair number of floods and damages from hurricanes — a problem when it comes to preserving artwork inside.
“Part of being able to protect the art is not usually the things people think about. You have to control the humidity inside the building, but also, UV light will actually fade out. They’ve seen the paint fade. It happens to art too. So, we have to UV protect the windows. That’s actually a rule to be able to have art exhibits come in from other areas of the country, which we would love to have in Gulfport.”
The arts center is now able to make that happen thanks to a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission. That money will help save the building itself, protect the art and bring in artists from across the country.
“It’s going to be a busy year for 2024,” added Kelso. “We’re going to get this thing finished and it’s going to be an exciting project.”
The Gulfport Arts Center is the only nonprofit art studio in the city. The Mississippi Arts Commission awarded $75,000 and the city will award $50,000 towards the renovation project.
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