Nine larger-than-life geckos will be the centerpiece of a live auction to benefit local charities as well as a public art installation in Gulfport’s Waterfront District. The geckos will be on display throughout the Gulfport Waterfront District beginning July 21 and will be auctioned during the sixth annual Gecko Ball Aug. 23 at the Gulfport Casino.
Artists selected to create geckos for this year’s auction are:
Michael Chapman: The Gulfport artist's signature works are brightly-hued watercolors, though he also works in acrylics, pen and ink and photography. His art has been shown locally in Gulfport and St. Petersburg, as well as throughout the Denver Art District where he formerly resided.
Denise Keegan: Keegan had primarily worked in painting but has recently broadened to mixed media art work, incorporating recycled materials. Her work has been shown in a number of Gulfport locations.
Denise Lange: The Sarasota artist's floral elements and bright, tropical palette mark her paintings and other art work. She is an active contributor to the crew of the Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport (IACG), including contributing graphic art and design for the IACG’s website.
Lenne’ Nicklaus-Ball: Her mixed media art work has been shown in public and private galleries throughout the Eastern U.S., nine museum exhibits and several public art projects. Her work has also been purchased by private collectors in the U.S., Europe and South America.
Stephen Oliver: Educated in architecture and furniture design, Oliver is also well-known locally as a graphic artist and designer of his popular “Give Peace” T-shirts and apparel, which he sells at local events. He was recently selected to create a public art installation, commissioned by the Gulfport Merchants Association, next to the historic Gulfport Casino. His public sculpture is due to be unveiled in mid-summer.
Owen Pach: The Gulfport glass and metal artist serves as president of the Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport. He began blowing glass in Ybor City in the early 1980s and has worked with prominent glass artists from around the world during his career which has taken him to Jacksonville, Virginia and Philadelphia, among other locations. His work is included in numerous private and public art collections.
Hugo Porcaro: Also known as The Reverend Hugo, the Gulfport artist spent most of his childhood on St. Pete Beach, crediting his upbringing in a vacation land for inspiring his bright palette and whimsical imagery. Porcaro is a popular fixture on the Tampa Bay art scene, and his paintings have been widely collected internationally, with his work included in several museum collections.
Jonathan Schork: The Gulfport artist identifies with a wide range of creative processes including painting, photography, sculpture, couture, literature, film and theatre. He is an award-winning creator of public sculptures. He has been an active participant in Gulfport’s artistic community since arriving a few years ago. His studio in Gulfport’s Alley of the Arts is a hub of creative activity for himself, partners, students and guests.
Cindy Tremaine: The St. Petersburg native works with students in Pinellas County Schools, including Gulfport Elementary. What started as a simple repair to a bird bath a few years ago sparked in her an interest in mosaic art which has since led to the creation of many glass mosaic art pieces, as well as the development of Moonstar Glass and Sun Mosaics with her partner.
The nine finished geckos will be on display at these nine Gulfport locations in the weeks leading to Gecko Ball:
- Backfin Blue Café, 2913 Beach Blvd.
- Beach Bazaar, 3115 Beach Blvd.
- Domain Home Accessories & Gallery, 3129 Beach Blvd.
- Little Tommie’s Tiki, 5519 Shore Blvd.
- Mangia Gourmet, 2930 Beach Blvd.
- Peg’s Cantina & Brewpub, 3038 Beach Blvd.
- Pia’s Trattoria, 3054 Beach Blvd.
- Stella’s Deli, 3119 Beach Blvd.
- Yummy’s, 2914 Beach Blvd.
Advance bids will also be accepted for geckos at these preview locations.
The annual Gecko Ball has become known as Gulfport’s Party of the Year, and this year’s theme is “Roaring Geckos,” evoking the Roaring 20s era of Americana, including its music, dance moves, outfits, hair and fads.
In addition to the live auction of the artist’s geckos, the event includes several dozens of silent auction items, costumes and costume contests, dinner buffet, cash bar, music, dancing and more. The Gecko Ball will be held at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd. S.
Tickets are $35 each and are available in advance at Gulfport Beach Bazaar, 3115 Beach Blvd., or online at GulfportMA.com.
For more information go to facebook.com/geckoball, or contact Richard Radovic at firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-204-8101.
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