Make way for the Gecko Art Show!
Ten artists will each create a piece of art for this year’s Gecko Art Show, a predominantly reptilian representation of Gulfport’s signature festival that culminates in a live charity auction during the Gecko Ball.
The contextual exhibit will occupy the lobby of the Catherine Hickman Theater, 5501 27th Ave. S., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, August 6.
After a year without a gecko during the pandemic, the art exhibit is back but with fewer lizards, says Brittney Sherley, president of the Gecko Ball.
âThis year we’re going to have a mix of gecko pieces and artist favorites,â Sherley said. âI hope people will be receptive and open because it all comes down to COVID. “
A late call to artists due to uncertainties over the pandemic cut the preparation time for local creators. Either way, attendees will be able to pre-bid on the coins on August 6, and the highest bid will double as the starting bid for the eventual live charity auction at the Gecko Ball on the 28th. August.
During the three weeks that each creation awaits auction, the pieces will live in various businesses affiliated with the Gulfport Merchants Chamber.
âWe really don’t know what to expect this year, but generally the [ball] sells, âSherley said. “I am optimistic.”
The list of selected artists is peppered with seasoned Gulfport artists such as Jack Providenti and Ray Domingo as well as new faces such as carpenter Tim Stellar. Other artists who donated pieces for the event included Eagle Finegan, Eric Folsom, Janet Folsom, Berkeley Grimball, Elizabeth Neily, Monika Watson and Anna Ayres.
Neily, one of the original creators of Gecko Fest and an official “Gecko Goddess”, is showing her work at the art exhibition for the first time.
She coined the iconic name of the festival, but never had the chance to donate her work. Its first entry is a decorative fabric bowl on the theme of hogfish.
âHand-dyed, bowl-shaped silks with fabric beads at its base,â said Neily.
Stellar, a Sarasota-based woodworking artist, was first submitted to the show in 2019; in 2021, he returns with the same gecko base as his original work, a drawing of four geckos from four different parts of the world, which sold for $ 550.
âI want to make this thing really good, something cool that people want to watch,â Stellas said.
This year, Stellar has designed two lizards in yin and yang format that will light up with LED support.
âIt’s supposed to be peaceful,â Stellar said. “The gecko on the left will be more detailed and intricate and the right is more of a clip art, a bold gecko with obligatory straight lines.”
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