Brandon Body once said, “Art is everywhere, and everywhere is art.”
Those profound words about the prominence of art in every aspect of our world are most definitely evident in Mississippi. The Magnolia State is home to many talented and creative artists, and these inspiring, innovative beings have been so generous to share their talents with The Magnolia State. Art certainly is everywhere in Mississippi, and that fact is made abundantly clear through the many beautiful and breathtaking public art that can be experienced through some of the most popular art walks in the state.
If you want to add a little culture and creativity to your life and enjoy these gorgeous creations, here are a few art walk suggestions.
The Hub City took the phrase “painting the town” to a new level. Like many cities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hattiesburg sought ways to bring hope and love to the community in a safe but engaging manner. The Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art and tourism executives were inspired to make that happen. Artists in the region and a few from around the country were called upon to create permanent works of art in city murals and outdoor sculptures. Thus, the self-guided Hattiesburg Art Trail was born.
The trail leads visitors to over 50 works of art throughout the city, and there are no plans for this project to slow down anytime soon; they intend to create at least 100 murals for The Hub City. The murals honor the history of the area and its people, provide thought-provoking quotes and images, display community pride through brilliant paintings and murals, and inspire with fanciful and fun pictures in a vibrant display. There truly is an art that speaks to everyone along this impressive art trail. Developed during the same time of social uncertainty, the Hattiesburg Pocket Gallery has become a little hidden gem in downtown Hattiesburg that inspires and delights visitors of all ages with ever-changing images and displays that celebrate holidays and seek to uplift and inspire.
Much like Hattiesburg, the city of Laurel also sought to bring light and hope to all during the pandemic. Colorful murals, encouraging kindness and positive energy, began to inundate the town. The Outdoor Art Gallery, tucked in by the Leontyne Price Park, was also born in downtown Laurel, displaying positive images and biblical and uplifting quotes to bolster all morale during those uncertain times. Encouraging everyone to “Always see the wonder” of their community and the world, beautiful, brilliant images of sunflowers, butterflies, and other positive images of hope were artfully created to display in this unique open art gallery. Laurel offers inspiration and love to all who come to experience art in the City Beautiful.
Mississippi Gulf Coast
The artist community and culture of the Mississippi Gulf Coast embodies a storied history of beauty and strength, displayed through the many art walks throughout these coastal towns. Despite being ravaged by devasting hurricanes that forever changed the landscape of the area, the resilience of the Gulf Coast and its courageous citizens rose up and turned disasters into pieces of timeless beauty.
A walk through the various cities along the Coast will leave you with a breathtaking view of this region’s valiant, optimistic nature and its people. Strolling through the historic town of Bay St. Louis, you’ll be enchanted and inspired by oak trees that were damaged in Hurricane Katrina but are now carved into beautiful angels. The Hurricane Katrina Mural in Biloxi was created in memory of the worst natural disaster to hit the United States. The intricate inlay glass wave along the wall is in memory of the 170 storm victims listed on the wall. The structure is 12 feet tall, the estimated height of the storm surge to hit the city. Fishbone Alley, a renovated alley used for trash and maintenance supplies, was turned into a very colorful and vibrant display of art and has become quite the destination in Gulfport, bringing a party atmosphere to this cozy little spot. In most Gulf Coast cities, brilliant postcard-style murals welcome you to these charming coastal towns. Art can be found in many unique locations, and a walk through these Gulf Coast cities is a delightful celebration of the arts.
This is just a sampling of the many beautiful and unique art walks featured throughout Mississippi, and they are all a testament to the talents, pride, and community spirit represented in the people and the regions through these artistic displays. It’s like a treasure hunt as you find fantastic creations tucked into some of the most unlikely places. Gather your friends and family today and experience any number of these fantastic art walks throughout the Magnolia State.