A small group of artists met and formed the Ocean Springs Art Association in the fall of 1971, to promote friendship and good fellowship among those persons engaged in the visual arts. What began as a small group of collective thoughts and ideas fueled passion in the arts and spread rapidly throughout the neighboring communities.
Membership in the association steadily grew, with like-minded individuals pursuing shared goals: the creation of an atmosphere in which creative people may develop and further their artistic abilities; the assistance of professional and non-professional artists in exhibiting their work in a dignified and professional manner; and to provide a program of continuing education and experimentation leading to individual discovery and truly personal expressions. Satellite groups within OSAA include the Monday Morning Painters and the Friday Studio Painters.
OSAA’s involvement in the City of Ocean Springs’ arts began in 1974, when the city asked the organization to assume the task of restoring the murals in the Ocean Springs Community Center. Those murals, by famed artist Walter Anderson, are now valued at over 50 million dollars. This small organization at the time held numerous fund raisers, such as symphonies, art shows, and solicited donations to fund this giant undertaking. Since that time, OSAA has remained involved in preserving the historic value of the Community Center, with fund-raising projects for lighting, protective railings, and additional restoration projects.
OSAA membership is primarily extended to local Gulf Coast Mississippi artists residing in the southern counties of Jackson, Hancock, and Harrison, with the recently added counties of George, Pearl River, and Stone. The association covers a broad spectrum of the arts: painting, pottery, photography, sculpture, metals, glass, wood, jewelry and textiles. Membership has grown from a very few artists to almost 400. With the help and interaction of our local community, the association provides over $5,500 in cash prizes for the annual fall exhibition and sale.
Now in its fifth decade, OSAA is an integral part of the artistic community of Ocean Springs and one of the largest art associations in southern Mississippi.