The Pascagoula River Audubon Center welcomes a new art exhibition by local artist Dena McKee with an opening reception on September 14 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. McKee’s exhibition, titled Celebrate the Coast- Past & Present Landmarks, features 25 original paintings and other prints of nostalgic coastal icons. This exhibition will be a rare opportunity to purchase many of these Dena McKee originals.
The latest installment of McKee’s coastal icons is a painting of the new Pascagoula River Audubon Center, which opened its doors in October of 2015. The new painting will be unveiled at the opening reception on September 14. The exhibition will be on display at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center from September 14, 2017 until November 22, 2017.
Dena McKee, southern artist and historic preservationist, has carved a niche for herself by painting to preserve historic landmarks and capture memories. Among her featured watercolors and prints are a drive-in, schools, theaters, a carnival parade and a beach park, subjects appealing to those who share fond memories and those with an affinity for life in a small Gulf Coast town.
Dena divides her time between Pascagoula, MS and Dauphin Island, AL where her studio is located.
Following high school in Morgan City, LA, Dena attended University of Southern Mississippi where she received her degree in education. While in college, she studied art and continued after college with private classes and workshops throughout the Gulf Coast and Maine.
Dena’s motivation for painting nostalgic icons of the coast are the memories of her husband, Don who grew up in Pascagoula. She enjoys evoking memories in the viewer that go beyond the paint and paper. Her subjects that capture the heart and soul of the community for viewers make her a popular artist in South Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Whether painting at home or in Maine where Dena and her husband frequently vacation, her basis the same, “I want to make people remember a time when there were no worries or stresses, and just for that moment — to take them back to that place.”
Dena is a charter member of the MS Committee of the National Museum for Women in the Arts, a longtime member of the Singing River and Ocean Springs Art Associations & Mobile Arts Council as well as past board member of the Jackson County Arts Council, the Mississippi Coast Audubon Society and the Dauphin Island Arts & Heritage Council. She has exhibited work in the G. E. Ohr Arts & Cultural Center in Biloxi, the Jolly McCarty Art Depot in Pascagoula as well as various shows along the coast. Her prints are carried in shops and galleries along the Gulf Coast as well as in Maine. Her originals are in private collections throughout the United States and Canada.