Hi, my name is Lauren Lacoste and I am the gallery manager of BEE by the Bay Gallery. Although I am a Mississippi coast native who was living in New Orleans pre-pandemic, I only began working for the gallery in February 2021.
At a very young age, art excited me and I was regularly drawing, painting, crafting or getting lost in my own imagination. As I got older I never lost that appreciation of art or sense of creating and found myself pursuing a career in design. Primarily leading projects and store openings as a merchandising design specialist that allowed me to travel along southern states. Eventually landing a marketing design opportunity for world renowned jazz venue Preservation Hall. In a short period of time, I was promoted to Box Office Manager based off of my customer service skills, leadership abilities and the attention to detail rooted in my design background. Having no experience in the music industry or managing a box office, let alone for one of the longest running music venues in the country, the recognition was a massive compliment. Taking on this role was an absolute honor ,but sadly cut short when covid caused live music to go away. Resulting in moving back to my hometown in Hancock County and taking on various jobs. While it felt like not only I was starting over, but the whole world was also navigating new waters.
Not knowing that BEE Galleries had also moved from New Orleans to Bay St. Louis around the same time, I was working two part time jobs- one of which being just a block away. Passing by the storefront I saw the most beautiful LaBorde painting in the window that was nearly the size of the wall! Being a long time fan of Martin LaBorde's, this stopped me in my tracks. I joke with many guests of the gallery now that I've been a fan of his work since the 8th grade and it's true! For many years my mother has worked alongside a family friend and attorney who just happens to be a LaBorde collector. She had many of his works on display in their offices and shared with me the magical background and inspiration of Bodo. I have been enamored and charmed by it all ever since. Never following up with fine art work as an 8th grader, I only knew of the "office Bodo's" ,until they started appearing throughout my life in unsuspecting places.
As fate would have it Becky was looking for recommendations to get help in the gallery. The very same family friend who introduced me to LaBorde is also a personal friend of Becky's and recommended me right away. Becky likes to say as soon as I walked in she knew I'd be perfect for the job, and turns out she was right.
Going through life's ups and downs, I find myself honored yet again to be in the position I'm in. I like to think I not only worked my way into Bodo's magical world ,but I ended up exactly where I'm supposed to be. It's a joy and a pleasure to be surrounded by all the beautiful art in the gallery as well as being the person who shares the stories and inspiration of the artists we represent to the guests visiting.
Come say hi and let me share the magic of finding your perfect piece of art!
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