Joyce Looney of Gulfport admires a sculpture titled “Gone Fishing” by artist Suzanne Harding during an artists’ reception at the Catherine Hickman Theater on Thursday August 5. Harding’s piece is one of seven created by local artists to be auctioned in a charity fundraiser at the eighth annual Gecko Ball at the Gulfport Casino August 27. The pieces were shown for the first time at the event, along with a selection of other works by the artists. The theme of the ball, and of the artists’ creations, is “20,000 Geckos Under the Sea,” following the theme of the adventure novel published by Jules Verne in 1870.
“This guy is just extravagant,” Looney said of the sculpture, which depicts a large gecko holding a fishing boat with a gecko fisherman fishing for geckos. “I like the colors, especially since I match,” she said, referring to her clothes. “It’s imaginative, too.”
Artist Harding, who just moved to Gulfport from Provincetown, Massachusetts in October, said she took the “20,000 Geckos Under the Sea” theme literally.
“I said, ‘What would that look like? If you were fishing and pulled up a line, you’d probably have a gecko, and then another gecko and another gecko …’”
The seven gecko pieces will be displayed at various sites around Gulfport until the ball.