It’s a short drive from Mobile to Ocean Spring MS, near Biloxi. Our Lafayette friends Grace Benedict and Kevin O’Brien live there; Kevin is the executive director of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum. Nice little museum, housed in buildings designed by Frank Gehry, nestled in among old, old live oaks. In addition to an extensive collection of work by George Ohr (the Mad Potter of Biloxi) there is room for invited shows by local and national artists. The current exhibits included paintings by James Michalopoulos — somewhat abstract views of New Orleans and its people, sculpture by Martin Payton –strong pieces made from recycled metals, and large ceramic forms by Toshiko Takaezu. These shows and the rest of the museum are worth seeing and the views out to the gulf are lovely.
After our trip to the museum Grace showed us her current sketches and drawings. She is again combining figures and florals for impressive pieces. I noted that her colors are stronger than before — perhaps the influence of the gulf sun. She had one charcoal drawing of a massive oak that particularly attracted me.
After a good walk along the gulf shore (2-miles?) we said goodbye to Grace and headed to the Gulf Islands National Seashore National Park where we were able to find a place for the night. The campground is a typical National Park campground — fit as many people in as possible — but is quiet and near some great recreation.