GeckoFest, Gulfport’s biggest street party of the year, was canceled this month. Other related events – GeckoBall, GeckoCrawl and the Gecko Art Show – are also out. So, the imaginative minds of the “Mask of Covid19” Facebook group came up with an idea.
“The Gecko Art Show was my favorite part of Gecko season,” said Mask of Covid19 Facebook group admin Debbie Stevenson. “When I suggested the group start a new art project, someone thought of geckos and the idea took off. It sounded like fun to do.”
Anyone can participate in “Paint the Town With Geckos” by designing a gecko-themed project made from whatever materials are on hand. Then post a picture to the group’s page beginning August 1 through the month of August. Creativity is the only requirement.
The Mask of Covid19 Facebook group began during the lockdown in April. People were stuck at home, looking for things to do. The initial idea was to make a piece of art that featured masks, just as they were becoming a must-have accessory to protect against Covid-19. Local news channels and print media featured articles about the unique project that helped create awareness and provided a sense of solidarity for residents of Gulfport and beyond. The group now has 627 members.
In June, members also participated in Pride In Place, created by Vice Mayor Paul Ray and Jon Ziegler, and adorned their homes and outdoor areas with rainbow-themed displays after in-person Pride events were canceled.
“We are all disappointed that the Gecko events were called off,” said Stevenson. “Hopefully, we can do the same thing for Gecko World that we did for masks.”
From the response already brewing on Facebook, people are ready for a new project and excited to create art that centers on Gulfport’s unofficial mascot.
For more information, find Mask of Covid19 on Facebook.