The Arts Hancock County and BSL Creative Arts Center on Tuesday donated a miniature ceramic replica of the Waveland Lighthouse to the city of Waveland. From front left, Mary and Teri Nelson, and Steve Barney. From back left, Aldermen Shane LaFontaine, Bobby Richardson, Charles Piazza, Jeremy Burke, and Waveland Mayor Mike Smith.

Steve Barney, director of the Bay St. Louis Creative Arts Center and member of The Arts Hancock County, on Tuesday presented the Waveland Board of Mayor and Aldermen with a ceramic replica of the Waveland Lighthouse.

The sculpture is a gift from both the BSL CAC and The Arts Hancock County, Barney said.

"This is in honor of the vision of Mayor Mike and the visionary artists," Barney said. "When we heard about the ribbon cutting, we wanted this lighthouse to be the centerpiece of a vibrant new arts scene."

Barney said that Mary Nelson and her mother Teri from the Kiln worked as the lead artists for the sculpture.

Earlier this year, Barney said that Mary was making a model of another lighthouse.

"It was my idea to make one of the Waveland Lighthouse in time for the ribbon cutting," Barney said.

Along with the Nelsons, Barney said that students from his Tuesday night pottery class helped create the miniature lighthouse.

The artists began back in early March and spent "hundreds of hours" on the project, he added.

Waveland Mayor Mike Smith described the sculpture as "incredible."

"The board and I had this vision of trying to rebuild Coleman Avenue like we once had before and even better," Smith said. "For y'all to take the hundreds of hours to put into this is incredible."

Smith added that the lighthouse is already a "beacon of hope for Coleman."

The sculpture also features a miniature ceramic likeness of Smith.

Smith said he plans to purchase a casing for the sculpture and place it on display at city hall.

Barney also told the board that The Arts Hancock County will soon be approaching all five municipalities and the Hancock County Board of Supervisors about passing a resolution that designates The Arts as the local art agency on record.

"It gives us the status to apply for federal grants," Barney said.

Barney said that The Arts Hancock County is a non-profit and completely volunteer-run.

He said that applying for grants will allow the organization to be "sustainable" and "grow to include a paid executive director position."

"It will also allow us to deliver more programs and services to the community," Barney said.

Learn more about The Arts at www.hancockarts.org, via Facebook at The Arts, Hancock County, MS, and via Instagram at hancockarts.

In other action:

The board scheduled an FY '20 budget meeting for Mon. Aug. 12 at 6 p.m.

A Hurricane Camille 50th Anniversary Remembrance is scheduled for Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the end of Coleman Avenue.

The board approved a motion declaring the property at 10055 Fiesta St. a menace to public health and safety. The motion also authorized city personnel to solicit proposals for demolition and property clean up.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Aug. 21 at 6:30 p.m.

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