GULFPORT – Local artists are invited to submit a proposal for the creation of a larger-than-life gecko to be auctioned during the annual Gecko Ball on Saturday, Aug. 23.
Artists selected will be supplied with a steel form in the shape of a gecko, either large – approximately 36 inches long by 18 inches wide – or small – approximately 24 inches long by 13 inches wide. Up to 10 artists will be selected to participate this year. Each gecko may be embellished, re-shaped, formed and/or re-imagined in any form and using any media by the participating artist. Except for the steel form, artists are responsible for purchasing any materials needed to create their designs. Each artist selected will receive two tickets to the Gecko Ball and will be acknowledged during the event.
Participating artists should live in or near Gulfport or have personal, familial or working ties to the city. If interested, artists should send a written summary and photos of some of their artwork. It is not necessary for the artist to predetermine or express how he or she would create the gecko if chosen. The deadline to submit an expression of interest will be June 1, 2014. Send submissions to Owen Pach, Gulfport Merchants Association, P.O. Box 531914, St. Petersburg, FL 33747. The deadline for completion of geckos will be July 1.
Each of the geckos will be displayed in a shop, gallery or restaurant in the waterfront district in the weeks leading up to Gecko Ball.
This is the fifth year that artists will be selected to create geckos to be auctioned at the Gecko Ball and the popularity of the gecko auction grows each year. Nearly 30 geckos have been created in previous years, each becoming a collector's item. A portion of proceeds from the Gecko Ball, as well as GeckoFest and the Gecko Pub Crawl is donated to local charities each year, and also funds the commission of public art projects in the Gulfport waterfront district.
The theme of this year's Gecko Ball is Roaring Geckos!, a 1920s motif evoking flappers, “The Great Gatsby,” gangsters, “Guys and Dolls,” and other ’20s touchstones. Costumes are encouraged. The event will feature a dinner buffet, cash bar, live music and dancing, costume contest, silent auctions and the live auction of artist-created geckos. Tickets for Gecko Ball go on sale a few weeks prior to the event, and it is known to sell out every year.