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ArtsAlive! ‘Art, Music, Literature, Cuisine and Theater in Old Town BSL’
By Echo Staff
Mar 21, 2014, 18:28

The Arts, Hancock County in partnership with local businesses and sponsors, on Saturday offers its most ambitious project to date, “ArtsAlive! A Festival of Art, Music, Literature, Cuisine and Theater in Old Town Bay St. Louis.”
“This is not your average art show,” The Arts President Cynthia Mahner said last week. "Think of it as sort of an ‘American Idol’ for the arts. People can come out and cheer on their favorite artist or student.”
The festival is actually comprised of several events taking place simultaneously and involving visual, literary, musical, and culinary arts. The star of the multi-faceted event is the Artists Showcase, featuring 57 artists showing their work at 20 host Old Town businesses. Eighteen of those artists have taken on the role of Teaching Artists for the day and will be sharing their experience and techniques in time slots from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (for the Teaching Artist Schedule, see the ArtsAlive! printed program distributed in Wednesday’s Sea Coast Echo, available at most locations on the tour today; or look under “Info” at www.ArtsAliveGulfCoast.com ).
From fiction writing tips to watercolor painting, to pottery techniques, the Teaching Artists of ArtsAlive! 2014 will be sharing the excitement of creation with the public in Old Town today from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., all for free.
One example of new student involvement is the Student Art Exhibit for Middle and High School students (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Longfellow Civic Center, 122 1/2 Court Street). Hundreds of dollars in cash prizes will be awarded, with the winners being announced at 10:30 a.m. on the day of the event.
During the “Aspiring Writers” contest at the Literary Showcase (100 Block of Main Street, in front of Bay Books) elementary, middle and high school student writers will read their works aloud (starting at 11 a.m.), also competing for hundreds of dollars in prizes.
For instance, at the Mockingbird Café, singer-songwriters will perform throughout the afternoon, competing for cash prizes. The “Play-Offs” for finalists are slated from 6-8 p.m. that evening, as the ArtsAlive! finale.
In the “On the Spot” fiction contest at the Literary Showcase at Bay Books, writers are given just three hours to write a short-short story about a specific topic, to be announced this morning.
Participants will read their stories aloud to audiences from 3–5 p.m.
During the “Southern Sweets” culinary competition at the Starfish Cafe, celebrity chefs will judge desserts created by local cooks based on presentation, originality and taste. Top winner takes home a $250 cash prize.
After the formal judging, 50 lucky People’s Choice judges get to sample the desserts and vote for their favorites (judges badges passed out on first-come-first-serve basis). A special Juried Art Exhibition for artists will be open to the public at 200 North Beach Restaurant, second floor, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., March 20 – March 30.
Even the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre is getting into the act, producing a fun theatre tableau with actors bringing to life the characters from Edward Hopper’s famous painting, “Nighthawks.” Performances are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on the steps of the Hancock County Courthouse.
On Thursday, The Arts hosted a patron's party reception and juried art competition to kick off the ArtsAlive! festivities.
Winners of art competition included:
• Melissa Smith, oil painting, first place and $500 cash prize.
• Len Heatherly, oil painting, $250 second prize sponsored by Michael Reeves Architect.
• Gwen Impson, monoprint, third prize and $100,sponsored by Bay Arts Center.   Impson is a founder of The Arts, Hancock County
• Honorable mentions went to Sandy Maggio - Silver, Resin Sculpture; Don Scafidi - Oil Painting; and Vicki Niolet - Mixed Media.
Also at the event, artist Regan Carney was recognized for 20 years of contributions to the arts in Hancock County.  Carney has managed Bay Artists Co-op for more than 19 years.  
For complete details about ArtsAlive! with map and schedule of Teaching Artists, go to: ArtsAliveGulfCoast.com.


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