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Gulf Coast Library Art Exhibit, The Gulf of America Features Work of Herb Willey

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 15:00pm | By: Dawn Smith

The work of Bay St. Louis, Miss. artist Herb Willey will be on display through Nov. 22 at the USM Gulf Park Campus library.

The Gulf Coast Library at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach is hosting “The Gulf of America,” an art exhibit featuring the work of award-winning Bay St. Louis artist Herb Willey. Sixty original transparent watercolor paintings, set on the Gulf Coast, will be on display until Nov. 22. The community is invited to a reception Oct. 18 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Gulf Coast Library. 

This exhibit, based on Willey's project, “Along Beach Boulevard,” depicts everyday scenes along Mississippi's Highway 90. He has expanded his scope to picture equally inspiring images from the coasts of Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana. Willey is constantly looking for ordinary people in ordinary locations to create stories. Titles like “Stalking a Mocking,” “They Took my Spot,” and “Fisherman and the Critic” cleverly allude to subjects of the paintings. 

Willey says, “I like to take common, everyday scenes and pull a narrative painting from them, and maybe make the viewer take a second look at the art and feel the emotion I felt when painting. It is those times that make my effort worthwhile, the opportunity to convey emotion into graphics. When you have those moments in your work, it really is satisfying.” 

Willey studied art in public school, later at the University of Hawaii while serving in the U.S. Navy, and also at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He studied with well-known New Orleans watercolorist Harrel Gray. His work has been displayed at many local art venues, including a current exhibition at Gallery 220 in Bay St. Louis. His watercolor paintings have been juried and honored in regional national and international shows, including the Global Division International Watercolor Society shows in Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

Along with the framed original watercolors, signed and numbered prints will be for sale at this event. For more information, contact the Gulf Coast Library at 228.214.3450.