Meet the Artists


Two Local Artists Focus on Women

GULFPORT- Domain Home Accessories & Gallery will feature the work of two local artists, both of whom prominently feature the female form in their work. “Art doll” artist Joan Allen and photographer Melissa Lowe will be featured at Domain during its next “Meet the Artists” event. The artists will be present to discuss their work and answer questions, as well as present a large body of new work for display and sale during the evening. “Meet the Artists” will take place at “& Gallery” (3129 Beach Boulevard S. in Gulfport) on Saturday, July 20th, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be offered.

  Local artist Joan Allen, originally from Oklahoma, has lived in Gulfport for 11 years.  While acquiring a varied resume over the years in locations around the country, including rural stay-at-home mom, graphic artist, envelope-stuffer, coffee shop proprietor and historic hotel manager, Joan managed time to teach herself the craft of quilting. After discovering and working with oven-cured clay, she eventually combined this with her talent for needle and fabric work to develop a line of highly imaginative “art dolls,” made with detailed clay appendages, bodies of assorted fabrics, and inventive hair and accessories. She has created a wide variety of the dolls over the years and they have been extensively collected.  With the exception of a line of “peacock” sculptures created from fabric and mixed media, most of Joan’s art dolls are women or girls, each with her own name, vivacious personality and witty back story.  (Example: “Wilheimina, born on a turkey farm in Kentucky, hopped a bus, changed her name, learned Texas Hold’em, bought the casino.  Likes her martinis dry.”) Domain Home Accessories has offered Joan Allen’s “art dolls,” especially her mermaids, for many years. 

  Also prominently featuring women in her art work, local photographer Melissa Lowe has had a passion for the camera for as long as she can remember.  She was raised by both her mother in Guatemala, as well as her father in Florida.  She has lived near Gulfport for over 20 years, and has worked in various Gulfport restaurants as a server for many years.  Melissa also works as an event, wedding and portrait photographer.  After creating a number of artful women’s portraits over the years, the idea for a book came to fruition earlier this year with the publication of “Gulfport Girls” (2013, Trace Taylor Publishing).  The book is a collection of stunning photographs of ten Gulfport-area women, in a range of ages, who agreed to pose in a variety of settings.  Melissa’s art photography is centered on the female form in the work she displays at “& Gallery.”

   For more information, contact Daniel Hodge, 727-366-4086 or email

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