LTMCP NAMES CARMEN LUGO AS TWELVE OAKS ARTIST IN RESIDENCE for 2019
For further interview or information, please contact
Carmen Lugo (Artist in Residence) at 228-209-0777
Melanie Allen (LTMCP Board Member/Project Director) at 251-648-5195
or Judy Steckler (LTMCP Executive Director) at 228-435-9191
Artist CARMEN LUGO has been named by the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain as the Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence for 2019. Lugo is a mixed-media artist who also works in acrylics and encaustic. Her art has been featured and honored in numerous exhibitions. This is the sixth year of the LTMCP Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence program, developed to enhance the natural connection between art & conservation by supporting the residency of a selected artist as they are inspired by the Twelve Oaks property on Old Fort Bayou in Ocean Springs. The project is supported by the local Land Trust organization and through a project grant to the LTMCP funded by the Mississippi Arts Commission.
Carmen Lugo has been a professional artist for more than a decade. She studied at Auburn University Montgomery and Troy State University, and attended lectures and instruction under artists including Sandra Halat, Harry Ally, Mary Vernon and others. “I am a mixed media, acrylic, and encaustic artist, and often incorporate natural elements into my work by embedding them in encaustic medium. I also often include designs and imagery borrowed from the natural world (specifically insects, for which I have a strong interest, and an amateur collection). Often these elements and images are slightly abstracted, and serve as “emotional messengers” to set the tone of the work,“ said the artist.
“We have appreciated exhibits of Carmen’s work over the past years few years. The layers of nature that she incorporates into her art tells us she will find much inspiration in the wonder that is Twelve Oaks,” said Melanie Allen, LTMCP Board Member who oversees the Artist in Residence project, “and so we are thrilled Carmen accepted this opportunity. Her work is extraordinary. There are amazing artists developing & working in this region of the country, and we had a number of exceptional artists express interest in the AiR program this year, and that thrills us. It is an honor to be part of this project,” Allen concluded, “We just wish we had the funds to expand the program ten-fold!”
The LTMCP is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving, promoting and protecting green spaces and open places of cultural, scenic and historic value. Twelve Oaks is held under the permanent conservation umbrella of the Land Trust, and is part of the Coastal Preserves program of the Department of Marine Resources. The thirty-acre parcel of protected property is situated at the north end of Hanley Road in Ocean Springs. The property is environmentally & historically significant, featuring a cathedral-like canopy of 400 year old heritage live oaks that surround the old house the artist will use as her studio during her residency.
Ms. Lugo explained “Because Twelve Oaks is set back from the hustle of city, and perfectly situated under a canopy of oaks, it presents as ‘a world apart.’ I relish the opportunity to seal myself in this visually and emotionally evocative space, channel my experience through my work, and translate it to the community through the language of painting.” As part of her tenure as Artist in Residence, artist Lugo will conduct public events during the spring at Twelve Oaks, with an exhibit in May of her artwork inspired by her time on the property.
The Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence project is supported in part by a $4,100 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission, which is matched with funds raised by the Land Trust. This is the sixth year of the program. Last year’s Artist in Residence was mixed media & ceramics artist Ellen Ellis Lee. Mary Hardy, a respected mixed-media artist, and classic oil painter Michael Maxwell of Oxford were selected in year five of the project. The prior year saw the Twelve Oaks property interpreted through the poetry and haiku of Ocean Springs author Mary Ann O’Gorman. In the second year kinetic sculptor Spence Kellum of Starkville utilized copper and glass to create a variety of mobiles that brought to life the movements of kingfishers, alligators, and oak trees. The first year of the program brought the talent of botanical sculptor Trailer McQuilkin to Twelve Oaks, where he was inspired to create a delicate painted Blackberry Blossom of copper. Nature photographers Charlie Taylor and Bob Effinger also served Twelve Oaks residencies in the first year, and their color photographs continue to be used by the Land Trust to illustrate the variety of textures and forms of life that exist on many scales in the beauty of the property.
A short photo/story by Ms. Allen entitled “Finding Johanna” can be accessed through Vimeo.com, and tells the unique story of the former slave Johanna Blount Smith, who owned the Twelve Oaks property in the 1880s. The photo story was produced by Blue Magnolia Films as part of a project celebrating the Mississippi Bicentennial.
The Land Trust holds over 9,500 acres under its conservation umbrella in the six coastal counties of Mississippi, which comprise the geographical Mississippi Coastal Plain. These valuable and productive lands are an important patchwork of fragile habitats and histories that represent the culture of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. LTMCP is a registered 501c3 non-profit and is the only nationally accredited land trust in Mississippi. The organization is directed by a volunteer Board of Directors, representing the six counties served by the organization. More information about Twelve Oaks and the Land Trust organization can be found on their website www.LTMCP.org.
Contact: Kelsey Johnson FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Assistant Director, Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
Mississippi State University, College of Architecture, Art + Design
Tel. 228/436-4661 Email: email@example.com
MSU AND ST MARTIN HIGH SCHOOL PARTNER TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN OLD FORT BAYOU
ST MARTIN, MS (November 16, 2018) – Over the last month around 80 upperclassman students in the Marine Science classes and Biophila Club at St. Martin High School have been learning about Old Fort Bayou Watershed and gathering data on water quality in the bayou and factors that may be impacting water quality. The student teams are now compiling their findings in the form of storyboards that include their vision for the future of the watershed and recommendations. The work will be included in the Watershed Implementation Plan for Old Fort Bayou that is being developed concurrently with funding through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) FY2015 Nonpoint Sources Grant awarded by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain that will lead to recommended policy and restoration actions for the watershed.
As the lead on the project, Mississippi State University’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio was awarded funding to work with the students through the Nationa l Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Gulf of Mexico Bay – Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program. The program, which began in October, challenges students to learn about watershed dynamics in Old Fort Bayou Watershed and the impacts of stormwater runoff on water quality and quantity, alongside NOAA staff and other science professionals. The Old Fort Bayou Watershed consists of just over 32,000 acres in Ocean Springs, Gautier and Jackson County, Mississippi. The bayou is a tributary of the Back Bay of Biloxi and has been identified as a priority watershed by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality that may be a source of pollutants impacting water quality in the Back Bay and Mississippi Sound. The main sources of pollutants are likely coming from a range of nonpoint sources including expanding development close to the waterway and livestock operations on rural estates in the upper watershed.
St. Martin High School is adjacent to Old Fort Bayou and was an ideal setting to start engaging students and the larger community around stormwater and water quality issues and opportunities for improvement in the watershed. In addition to doing assessments of their school property, the students did water quality testing and learned about best management practices at two additional sites along the bayou: The Twelve Oaks Property and Nature Trail in Ocean Springs that is owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and Secretary of State Coastal Preserves Program and the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain and The Preserve Golf Club in Vancleave. The Preserve Golf Club is a certified Audubon Signature Sanctuary dedicated to protecting the natural environment in addition to providing a high quality golf experience. “We’re proud of what we do here at The Preserve and it was great to be able to share some of the Low Impact Development strategies we use on the golf course to protect the environment and water quality in Old Fort Bayou,” said Stephen Miles, Director of Golf Operations at Old Fort Bayou. “Golf courses can have a significant impact on water quality and it is important to show that the steps we have taken here at The Preserve to protect water quality have not only been good for the environment, but good for business.”
During the field experience students worked alongside professionals and volunteers from local nonprofits, various state and federal agencies including the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (LTMCP), NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information’s Center for Coast, Oceans and Geophysics (NCEI), EPA Gulf of Mexico Program, National Park Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, and The Nature Conservancy.
“We are excited to partner on this project and happy when we can help students learn about and experience nature in unique ways,” commented Judy Steckler, Executive Director of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plan. “We are also looking forward to including the students’ work in the Watershed Plan for Old Fort Bayou that we are developing in partnership with the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.” The Watershed Implementation Plan will be completed in December and student work will be on display for the Advisory Committee at their final meeting on December 17th. The meeting will be held during school hours so students who participated in the project can interact with members of the Advisory Committee. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to apply for a paid summer internship working with the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, LTMCP and the Jackson County Planning Department to start implementing the plan.
“This has been a great way for our students to get involved in an important project in their community and see how what they learn in the classroom really does have relevance,” said Mike Heise, science teacher at St. Martin High School. “The students have also enjoyed interacting with professionals and learning about professions related to environment science and planning.”
To learn more about Mississippi State University’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, visit:
To learn more about NOAA and the B-WET program, visit: http://www.noaa.gov/office-education/bwet
To learn more about the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, visit:
First Annual “Remember the Past” festival to be held at the Historic Shaw Homestead in Poplarville, MS.
Take a step back in time and explore the Historic Shaw Homestead in the Barth community of Poplarville, MS. The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain invites you to attend an open house on Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm at 1214 Barth Road in Poplarville, MS.
The open house will feature historic information about the homestead and the area during the timber boom during the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. There will also be vendors and exhibitors displaying goods and crafts from that time period. This event is made possible in part by funding through the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation.
Visitors will get to hear stories from locals telling guests about their childhood growing up on a homestead. Podcasts will be available about cattle ranching and sheep shearing, logging, canning, and other information about the time period. Vendors and Exhibitors will be available to demonstrate homestead activities.
This homestead site was established in 1885 and housed the same family for generations until Hurricane Camille. When the property was donated by the family to the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (LTMCP) in 2007, many items were found just as they were left in 1969. The historic site features a dog-trot log cabin, detached kitchen, tractor shed with grist mill, jar house, smoke house, sheep dip, and corn crib and offers a complete picture of rural life in Pearl River County during the Timber Boom in Mississippi. For more information about this program or to register as a vendor or exhibitor, call the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain at 228-435-9191 or you can download the vendor application HERE.
PRESS RELEASE for IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
From: The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (office 228.435.9191, or LTMCP Board member Melanie Allen 251.648.5195)
Re: LTMCP reception Saturday, May 13 from 2 to 4pm with exhibit of work by Twelve Oaks Artists in Residence for 2017
Artists MARY HARDY of Ocean Springs and MICHAEL MAXWELL of Oxford will exhibit art work inspired by their time as Twelve Oaks Artists in Residence for 2017 during a reception this Saturday, May 13th from 2 to 4pm. The reception will be at the Twelve Oaks property and is open to the public. The Artist in Residence program is a project of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, with the goal of promoting & enhancing the natural connection between art & conservation. The artists will each exhibit at least four original pieces created during their residencies.
Mary Hardy holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Art Education. She is listed on the Mississippi Arts Commission Artists Registry, was awarded a 2013 MAC Visual Arts Fellowship, and is included in the book Art in Mississippi by Patti Carr Black. Hardy’s multi-media creations are featured as the lead character’s artwork throughout the movie Mississippi Murder. She has participated in the Mississippi Art Colony, serving on their Board and as Colony President. Mary Hardy’s mixed media pieces have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and her work is held in many private collections.
Artist Michael Maxwell holds a Bachelors in Fine Art in painting. His professional career over the past decade has included numerous exhibitions and juried awards. “I was taught painting in the form of plein air, working from the natural landscape on location like my teachers did,” he explained, ”When it was cold in winter I would turn my attention indoors to still-life painting…As the years passed I began to think of nature and humankind as less separate from one another, to the point where I now find nature more accessible, more knowable…” Maxwell’s work is held in private and public collections across the region.
During their tenures as Artists in Residence, both Hardy and Maxwell each conducted two workshop events at Twelve Oaks. The Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence project is supported in part by a $4,500 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission, with matching funds from the Land Trust. This is the fourth year of the program, and is the first year the artists selected were visual artists and painters. Last year’s Artist in Residence was author Mary Ann O’Gorman, who composed more than a dozen poems inspired by her Artist in Residence experience. Previous artists have included a botanical sculptor, nature photographers and a kinetic mobile sculptor.
Twelve Oaks is a thirty-acre parcel of protected property situated at the north end of Hanley Road in Ocean Springs, north of Highway 90. The physical address is 1112 Hanley Road. The property is environmentally significant as well as beautiful, featuring a cathedral-like canopy of heritage live oaks around the old house where the artists have resided and worked since January. Twelve Oaks is held under the permanent conservation umbrella of the Land Trust, and is part of the Coastal Preserves program of the Department of Marine Resources.
For more information, review the LTMCP Facebook page or contact the office at 228-435-9191, and visit the organization’s website at www.LTMCP.org. Mary Hardy’s work can be seen at www.MaryHardyStudio.com, and more of artist Michael Maxwell’s work can be seen on his site at www.MichaelMaxwell.net.
Press Release for event
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
at Weeks Bayou in Ocean Springs, Mississippi
hosted by the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain
(for additional information, please contact the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain at 228.435.9191)
The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain (LTMCP) and partners will celebrate the opening of the Coastal Restoration and Nature Education Study Area at Weeks Bayou in Ocean Springs on Wednesday, April 12th between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm at the site at 315 Shearwater Drive on the west end of East Beach.
During this project, approximately 2.3 acres at Weeks Bayou were restored as a green space for scientific and educational activities. Debris and invasive species were also removed from the area, and a small observation deck was built that will be used for water quality sampling and as an outdoor classroom setting. “This project not only improves water quality, but also provides the Marine Education Center at the University of Southern Mississippi with a wonderful outdoor learning opportunity to teach landowners and students how to reclaim and restore land in sensitive coastal areas,” said Judy Steckler, LTMCP executive director.
The restoration project was funded in part by Southern Company through the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Additional funding was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The Five Star program emphasizes results-based collaboration with diverse partners, including environmental groups, public agencies, non-governmental organizations, landowners, schools, businesses and others.
“Southern Company has a history of developing innovative partnerships to make a meaningful difference in the communities we are privileged to serve,” said Southern Company Chief Environmental Officer Dr. Larry S. Monroe. “This partnership leverages and expands public and private resources to deliver the value of a consistent commitment to environmental stewardship.”
Other project partners include Chevron, the City of Ocean Springs, CLIMB CDC, Mississippi State University Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Mississippi Power, Mississippi Wildlife Habitat Stewards, the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Cypress Environmental Science & Engineering, and 3Point Eco-Logical, LLC.
The public is invited to the project celebration program. For further information on the Weeks Bayou restoration project or the event, contact the Land Trust’s main office at 228.435.9191.
PRESS RELEASE for IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
Date: February 9, 2016
From: The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain office 228.435.9191, or Board President Melanie Allen 251.648.5195
Re: LTMCP announces Mary Ann O’Gorman as the Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence for 2016
Writer Mary Ann O’Gorman of Ocean Springs has been selected as the Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence for 2016, a project developed by the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain to demonstrate and enhance the natural connection between art & conservation, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to enjoy this amazing piece of quiet land,” said O’Gorman, “and I look forward to listening to what it has to tell me, and then writing those words.”
Twelve Oaks is a thirty-acre historic parcel of protected property situated at the north end of Hanley Road in Ocean Springs. It is held under the permanent conservation umbrella of the Land Trust, and is part of the Coastal Preserves program of DMR. LTMCP was awarded $3,700 by the Mississippi Arts Commission to support this year’s Artist in Residence project, which focuses on artistic interpretation of the Twelve Oaks acreage bordered by Highway 90 and extending through to the marshes of Old Fort Bayou.
“There are many ways to appreciate nature,” said Melanie Allen, LTMCP Board President, “and here in Ocean Springs many artists look to our natural resources for inspiration. The Land Trust has worked diligently for more than 15 years to protect and preserve open places and green spaces like Twelve Oaks because they have such value in our lives, especially in a town like Ocean Springs where artistic expression is so engrained in our culture. This is the third year of our Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence project, and we are grateful to the Mississippi Arts Commission and others who have supported this project.”
O’Gorman is a published writer of poetry and prose. In 2012, she earned a Masters of Fine Arts from the respected School of Letters at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. O’Gorman has been awarded the Marble Faun Poetry prize through Words and Music of New Orleans. She published Life In This House in 2008, which was nominated the following year for the poetry prize at the Mississippi Institute of Arts and letters.
The Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. “The creative economy has never been more vibrant than it is today in the communities across Mississippi,” stated Dr. Tom Pearson, Executive Director at MAC. “This agency is honored to play a small role in assisting these organizations to continue their work of reinforcing the value of the arts and the role they play in creative place-making and economic development. “
During her tenure as Artist in Residence, O’Gorman will conduct two public creative writing events at Twelve Oaks, scheduled for Saturday, March 12th and Saturday, April 9th. At the conclusion of her residency, O’Gorman will hold a reading of her work on the property on Saturday, May 7th. “One of the joys of this project is that I will be able to expose others to the wonder of this place, and to inspire them to write what they experience here,” said O’Gorman. In addition to her writing accomplishments, O’Gorman holds a Masters in English Literature from Rutgers, and taught in the English Department at Ocean Springs High School for nearly a decade. She was nominated to Who’s Who in American Teachers four times. In addition, O’Gorman is an E-500 hour yoga instructor. She says she may include some basic yoga stretching at the start of the creative writing workshops at Twelve Oaks. “There is no question”, she says, “how much yoga helps settle the being and body so the creative energy can flow.”
Last year, the Artist in Residence at Twelve Oaks was kinetic sculptor Spence Kellum of Starkville, who created a series of colorful copper and glass mobiles, each an interpretation of something he encountered on the property. The sculptures he produced included representations of a pileated woodpecker, belted kingfisher, bald eagle and alligator. In the first year of the project, nationally recognized Ocean Springs’ artist Trailer McQuilkin created a meticulous, painted copper botanical sculpture of a Blackberry Blossom. Also that year, photographers Charlie Taylor and Bob Effinger created a portfolio of two dozen photographs capturing the natural beauty of the protected property. Art created during the project becomes property of the Land Trust.
The LTMCP is a 15-year old conservation organization dedicated to conserving, promoting and protecting green spaces and open places of cultural, scenic and historic value in the six coastal counties of Mississippi. The Land Trust holds over 8,200 acres of property under its conservation umbrella. These valuable and productive lands are an important patchwork of fragile habitats and histories that represent the culture of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. LTMCP is the only nationally accredited land trust in the state of Mississippi. The organization is a registered 501c3 non-profit, and is directed by a volunteer Board of Directors, representing the six counties that comprise the Mississippi Coastal Plain. The organization’s Executive Director is Judy Steckler.
For more information, the LTMCP offices can be contacted at 435.9191, and the organization’s website is www.LTMCP.org.
March 18, 2015
The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain is inviting the public to join them at the beautiful “Twelve Oaks” 30 acre preserved property on Old Fort Bayou in Ocean Springs this Saturday afternoon, March 21st from 2 to 4pm as they celebrate a year of accomplishment at their annual meeting.
The agenda Saturday afternoon will include a brief presentation on the historic and fascinating Twelve Oaks property, and an overview of the work of the Land Trust in conserving, protecting and promoting green places & open spaces of scenic, cultural or environmental significance in the six lower counties of the state. The Artist in Residence (AiR) program at Twelve Oaks will be also be discussed, and the 2015 Artist in Residence, Agrippa Spence Kellum, will be introduced. The three walking trails on the property will be available for visitors to enjoy. Refreshments will be served.
Spence Kellum is an award-winning kinetic sculptor who is living on the Twelve Oaks property this spring. His AiR residency allows him to spend an extended time at Twelve Oaks, and to create artwork inspired by his experiences there. An exhibit of Kellum’s kinetic mobiles will be on display Saturday afternoon amongst the oaks and plantings on the property. Kellum is participating in the second year of the Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence project. Last year, botanical sculptor Trailer McQuilkin was selected as the inaugural Twelve Oaks Artist in Residence. McQuilkin created a meticulously accurate, painted copper sculpture of a blackberry bloom as a result of his residency. In addition to McQuilkin, the LTMCP 2014 Twelve Oaks AiR project also included photographers Charlie Taylor and Bob Effinger, whose stunning nature photographs of the Twelve Oaks property are now featured in LTMCP materials and will be displayed as well. The Artist in Residence project at Twelve Oaks is supported by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.
Twelve Oaks is a picturesque thirty acre natural setting that stretches between Highway 90 and Old Fort Bayou, with a breathtaking canopy of huge 400 year old live oak trees whose branches span nearly a hundred feet. There are three walking paths leading to the waterfront, and a small platform overlooking the bayou. The property was once owned by a remarkable former slave named Johanna Blount. Though the physical address for Twelve Oaks is 1112 Hanley Road, locals will find the property at the north end of Hanley Road, following the drive that runs between Hancock Bank and Bobby Tyson’s Tire Shop, as it turns to the west.
The Land Trust for the Mississippi Plain is a membership driven non-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors. LTMCP is the only nationally accredited land trust in Mississippi. The organization holds over 6,600 acres of property under its permanent umbrella of protection in the six lower counties of the state. “We are delighted to have Twelve Oaks open for the public to enjoy this coming Saturday,” said LTMCP Executive Director Judy Steckler. “We hope folks will put on good walking shoes and come enjoy this beautiful property that we are proud to help protect.”
For more information, the LTMCP offices can be contacted at 435.9191, and the organization’s website is www.LTMCP.org.