The 39th Annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival drew a crowd of over 100,00 to Ocean Springs on November 4 and 5. The popular festival boasted a record- setting 478 registered vendors from all across the United States, including artists and craftsmen from Missouri, Texas and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. People flocked to Downtown Ocean Springs to enjoy the slightly milder temperature and the sights and sounds of streets crowded with a variety of wares.
The Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce coordinates the event which began in 1978 and has since been held the first weekend of each November following. Blue Moon, a top sponsor in past years, now presents the festival as a top contributor.
Of course, the festival pays homage to Peter Anderson, the original potter of Shearwater Pottery and the older brother of Walter Anderson. The Walter Anderson Museum of Art displays the works of the famous American painter, who dedicated much of his life to capturing the wildlife of Horn Island just off the Mississippi Coast.
Ocean Springs seeks to continue the legacy of these local artists by hosting the Peter Anderson Festival in order to showcase the vibrant art community of the town and bring together people from all over.
Michael and Victoria Terra traveled from Paducah, Kentucky to participate in their very first Peter Anderson Festival. Both Victoria and Michael liked the area and decided to try something new. The Terras own Terra Cottage Ceramics and sell unique clay creations. The ceramic drinking glasses that they sell have a unique poem inscribed on them, written by Michael entitled, “Stream of Cuppishness,” implying a stream of consciousness as the poem wraps completely around the outside in a looping circle.
“A lot of times, people are telling their story…but my observation is that the story that you are most interested in is your own story,” Michael said. “So, if i can write a poem that doesn’t tell you about my experience but reminds you of your own experience, then that’s going to be a better poem because it’s gonna have much more intricate appeal to you than listening to what happened to me.”
Michael said he listens to other people in order to find inspiration for his work and uncovers universal experiences to connect to his audience.
Local restaurants and food vendors set up near the music stage to provide a place out of the festival crowd for a moment to enjoy live music. The Colin Lockey Band, the Brennan Roybal Band, Ty Taylor, Rhythm & Rain and Jade Sanders all performed over the Saturday and Sunday of the festival.
Several USM students made the short trip to the Gulf Coast either visting or making a quick return to home.
Sophomore microbiology and political science major Mikayla Brown of Gulfport, Mississippi, said that her favorite vendor had a dream catcher booth.
“It was a great festival filled with talented artists,” Brown said.