MEET THE ARTISTS
Meet Bridgette Lovelace...
I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi in the once historic Biloxi Memorial hospital overlooking the back bay. I was primarily raised by my single mother. Although I am from a prominent Irish-Catholic family here on the coast, my Mother and I faced our share of struggles in a single parent home. We moved around A LOT; within the city or to other states in the South East. Regardless of where- the Gulf Coast is always home. We always found a way to mosey on back. With all of my moving around, I always found refuge in my artwork and in music. At one point I lived in Waikiki, HI, with my Father, spending all of my days being home schooled by him and surfing the majority of every day. I have certainly been widely influenced by my travels as well as by my dad, John Michael O'Keefe who is an artist/writer in his own right. But there was still something calling me back to my hometown of Biloxi. It was always my young hearts' desire to go to Biloxi High, not to mention my baby sister was just learning to talk, and it broke my heart not to be there with her. So I left my Dad...my paternal soulmate.. and flew back to the mainland and the Golden Gulf Coast.
I have have to mention my grandmother, Rose Annette Saxon-O'Keefe, she was always a major advocate for my art. She broke out the paper and paint for me when I stayed with her and Grandpa, without fail. At one point, I moved in with my grandparents, when I was a high school Senior. In my designated bedroom, I looked into my desk drawer and found paintings I had done as a child that I had no recollection of doing. I could merely estimate the time period by the maturity (or lack there of) of my signature. I think of these things, and I think of EVERYTHING I have been through, and I just want to love the people in my life with everything; family and friends, especially my husband, Kent and our children, Caroline, Elijah, Micah and our newborn Emerson Lux. My attitude towards life is to EMBRACE ADVERSITY because when you do, it leads to TRIUMPH. So I have quite a history! A history far too in depth to include in an artist bio! But I do hope that my artwork somehow reflects my gracious feelings toward life, and the personal, spiritual growth and enlightenment that is constantly taking place!!
I have zero formal training in art, but I fantasize that I one day will. Meanwhile I stay busy painting. I have a couple of accomplishments surrounding my preferred creative path of painting, but then again there is no settling. I also have a passion for photography and Interior Design among other creative outlets but painting is my priority.
I was completely thrilled to be a part of this project from the moment I learned of of our objective, my stomach fluttered and my mind began racing. I have always known the Coast has a distinguished taste for art. With that being said, many Coastians do not realize that there is a wide variety of artist here locally. I think that our locals buy their coastal artwork here and seek their contemporary and modern art in bigger cities. To be a part of bringing my artwork and the other artist work to light all while infusing some life into one of Biloxi's most special places was an honor to say the least.
After our first meeting while driving home I knew right away that I wanted my piece of work to pay homage to the Biloxi Indians. I have always been so proud to be from Biloxi. Of course, the real Biloxi people's story is quite extraordinary; a real warrior story, a story of a first people who were exiled from the land which is their namesake! I hope that my paintings at the Kress will inspire people to learn more about our history. I certainly learned a great deal about the Biloxi tribe through this process. I knew it was meant to be, after I spoke to my father on the phone and told him of my plan. He informed me that he had been in contact with the Biloxi people years ago and told me to find them through their website called the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. They reside in Southern Louisiana in Marksville. Before we hung up he told me he knew just one phrase of their native language if I would like to hear it. "Kuti Mankdi Ande Naha" which means "God is Everywhere".