OOMA Blog

OHR-O’KEEFE MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

(Biloxi, MS) The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art has named Heather Rumfelt as its new Assistant Director.  Heather will be responsible for advancing new themes and trends for the museum, incorporating technology, and encouraging conversation and shared dialogue for different audiences.

A native of Ocean Springs, Heather began her career as a potter and painter after receiving her BFA from the University of Southern Mississippi.  She has always been a teacher at heart, first working for nonprofits in the Texas Hill Country and then as a high school art teacher in the state of Mississippi. During Heather’s ten year career as a teacher, she served on the board of directors for the Mississippi Art Education Association as treasurer for eight years and won several awards for her achievements. While filling this role she attended, organized and facilitated professional development conferences all over the United States.  The interactions and relationships built with teachers, administrators and organizations, gave her a passion for art advocacy and community development.

In 2014, Heather decided to hang her hat as a public school teacher to seek a job that would give her a louder voice in advocating for the arts.  This path landed her a position as the Walter Anderson Museum’s Education Director. During her three years at WAMA, Heather focused her attention on building strong community relationships, engaging people in our natural landscape and providing museum goers with enriching programs that not only introduced them to the world of Walter Anderson, but also fostered their inner artist.

Heather Rumfelt is a well-respected, thriving artist and art educator in Ocean Springs, MS. She has a strong history of commitment toward students, other artists, and community organizations. While she is dedicated to producing her own art and community art, she is driven to support, encourage and grow programming that will promote the importance of art in our local and global communities.

Executive Director Kevin O’Brien says “We are delighted to attract a museum professional of Heather’s caliber to be part of the museum’s administration. We look forward to her expertise, ideas and energy as we move the museum forward.”

For more information on the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, please contact 228-374-5547 or visit georgeohr.org.

George Ohr Receives Proclamation from City of Biloxi

(Biloxi, MS) – The “Mad Potter of Biloxi” received a posthumous proclamation from the city of Biloxi on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich designated the day as “George Ohr Day,” in celebration of George’s lasting legacy to not only Biloxi but to the art world at large.

Ohr built his first pottery studio in Biloxi in 1881 and became well known for his talent as well as his antics. George was a uniquely innovative artist for the 19th century, experimenting with thin-walled, delicate pots, manipulating forms into twisted, exotic vessels and using self-made glazes to create vivid, imaginative pieces. Though largely unrecognized during his lifetime, George is now considered one of the first American artists to produce abstract art. George’s creative spirit is the focal point of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art’s mission – to promote and preserve his unique legacy by the relentless pursuit and promotion of groundbreaking art.

Mayor Gilich was accompanied by Biloxi Councilmembers George Lawrence and Felix Gines and presented the proclamation with great applause by members of the media, museum board, and local community. Games on the plaza, a community art project, and birthday cake rounded out the festivities enjoyed by over two hundred guests throughout the museum’s free admission day.

For more information on the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, please contact 228-374-5547 or visit georgeohr.org.

Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art Seeking African American Cultural Items for New Exhibition

(Biloxi, MS) – The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art is asking the public for pertinent information such as photos, maps, objects and ephemera that can be borrowed for use in a new exhibition called A City Within a City:  African American Culture in Biloxi.

The exhibit is being installed in the Pleasant Reed Interpretative Center on the museum campus. It will tell in part of the cultural history of a vibrant, segregated “city within a city” in Biloxi during the post WWII years, consisting of schools, theaters, visiting celebrities, night clubs, restaurants, and other businesses owned, operated, and employed by African Americans.

The geographic boundaries of this neighborhood, once called “back of town,” were Caillavet Street on the west, Bayou Auguste on the north (near what is now Bradford Street), Lee Street on the east, and the railroad tracks on the south.

The exhibit will benefit the public by assisting in the dissemination of the story of A City Within a City, details of which are little known outside the African American community in Biloxi.

For inquiries and submissions, please contact Assistant Curator, Rhea Miner

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Ohr-O’Keefe Museum is Open for Business after Fire

Now that two weeks have passed and the smoke has cleared literally, we want to let citizens and visitors know that the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art is indeed open for business after the recent electrical fire in its Mississippi Sound Welcome Center. (The museum’s Welcome Center is the home of the museum store, offices, admissions, and public meetings/ lectures).  The Welcome Center will remain closed for the time being.

We have to remember that even George Ohr came back stronger than ever after a catastrophic fire consumed his original pottery studio in downtown Biloxi. Ours was an electrical fire in a display case that caused extensive smoke damage that will close our Welcome center for many months. We are appreciative of the efforts of the Biloxi Police and Fire departments to minimize the impact on this beautiful $40 million beachfront showplace and resource center.

The big thing for you to know is this: Even in the wake of this event, there’s so much more to see on the Ohr-O’Keefe campus. The IP Casino Resort Spa Gallery, the Beau Rivage Gallery of African American Art, the Knight Pod Gallery and the Biloxi Center for Ceramics are all open.

The museum is currently exhibiting the popular “Our Love Affair With Baseball” exhibit through Nov. 4, 2016. Permanent exhibits, the George Ohr Collection, and Katrina exhibits remain open. The Pleasant Reed Interpretative Center is also open.

The museum’s hugely successful “Our Love Affair with Baseball” Luncheon Series, sponsored by Sal & Mookie’s, has been moved to the 2nd floor of the Biloxi Center for Ceramics and has resumed in September, Fridays at noon. This has been a great opportunity for diners to have an inexpensive meal and meet a weekly lineup of baseball greats.

The museum has temporarily housed a small version of its museum store in the Pleasant Reed Interpretive Center.

We will know soon when the Welcome Center will be up and running. In the meantime, we want our visitors and supporters to know that we are open to the public with interesting exhibits, lectures, education and studio programs.

We need your support and visitation while we go through the process of repairing our Welcome Center.

We also hope that you’ll take part in The Wizard of Ohr magical evening at the IP. It’s going to be Sept. 30 from 7 to 10 p.m. and it’s going to be spectacular.

For details on all of these things and more, visit the website at www.georgeohr.org

Released 09/10/16