Page 14 - Peter Anderson Festival Guide ~ 2023
P. 14

  signAture style
 His cerulean eyes would shimmer with disbelief if Master Potter Peter Anderson could see the magnitude of the Ocean Springs art festival that bears his name.
And the art immersion of the cultivated City of Discovery would have been as equally amazing to him as the growth of the 45th an- nual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival.
“Oh, he had the most amazing, beautiful blue eyes,” said Majorie Ashley of her father, the late Peter Anderson. “And when you told him something unbelievable, he would look at you and smile with sort of a questioning look on his face. He certainly wouldn't believe how big it has gotten, and my mother, oh she would have loved it.”
The largest arts and crafts festival on the Gulf Coast and throughout the Magnolia State is set for November 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day in downtown Ocean Springs. The open-air event promises a splattering of potters, painters, sculptors, and mixed media artists partnering with the walkable downtown businesses. The award-winning arts festival attracts nearly 400 official vendors each year.
“This festival has grown beyond our expecta- tions,” said Cynthia Sutton, executive director of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce- Main Street-Tourism Bureau. “This event is truly a coast-wide event with a reach with ven- dors from throughout the United States includ- ing those as far away as New York, Utah,
Michigan, Texas, and Florida.”
Ashley said the festival had a humble
beginning in 1978 with just 50 or so booths stationed in the chamber parking lot on Wash- ington Avenue. The original festival included art enthusiasts as well as the Anderson family and their art gallery, Shearwater Pottery.
The festival was renamed after Peter Anderson in 1984 and since then, Shearwater Pottery has created an exclusive mug to sym- bolize the event. The mugs are hand-thrown with her father’s signature pottery style and exclusive glazes, and according to Ashley, this year's collectible is a little extra special.
“It’s for the anniversary of my father and mother’s wedding,” Ashley said. “The mug has a picture on it of the little St. Pierre’s Chapel
in Gautier where they were married on April 16, 1930.”
Ashley said she forged numerous friendships with artists over the years because of the festival.
“I always try to walk around a little and talk to all of them,” Ashley said. “And there's a won- derful potter that comes down from Oklahoma and I treat myself to one of his pieces each year.”
With an array of artisan and craftsmen demonstrations, eclectic food, lively music, and just all-around outdoor wellness, there’s something for everyone at the 45th annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival.
ABOVE TOP: Jim Anderson, son of Peter and Pat Anderson. RIGHT: Patricia “Pat” Anderson, Peter’s wife
and longtime manager of Shearwater Pottery. Here she is in the Annex hand painting figurines that had been designed by Walter Anderson and James “Mac” Anderson, younger brothers of Peter.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Peter Anderson developed
the glazes on
the pottery he created each day in his workshop on the family property.

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