HAPA UNVEILS 34TH MURAL AT OSEOLA MCCARTY PARKMay 23, 2022
Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art (HAPA), a program of VisitHATTIESBURG, unveiled its 34th large-scale mural today. Located on a bridge running over Gordon’s Creek, the art, titled “Koi Across the World”, is adjacent to Oseola McCarty Park in downtown Hattiesburg.
Completed in partnership with Catherine and Chad Edmonson, longtime supporters of public art in Hattiesburg, and the City of Hattiesburg, the project continues recent beautification efforts geared toward youth in the Hawkins School neighborhood.
“Much of our community’s advancement in public art is a direct result of the advocacy and generosity of our citizens,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “I greatly appreciate the Edmonson family leading from the front when it comes to investing in the North Main area. This mural, which adds another positive amenity to Oseola McCarty Park, stands as a testament to their belief in East Hattiesburg’s future.”
The design features lifelike black and orange koi fish painted by California artist Jeremy Novy as a part of his “Koi Across the World” series.
“Art is for everyone,” said Novy. “The process of viewing art is therapy in itself. That’s why we visit sculpture gardens and museums. But not all art should cost an entry fee to view.”
For fourteen years, Novy has been stenciling these signature fish on sidewalks and structures across North America. He traveled to Hattiesburg earlier this month to leave his mark in the city.
“I’ve been interested in Novy’s work for some time. I began seeing koi in cities like New Orleans, San Francisco, and New York when traveling,” said Catherine Edmonson. “When I discovered the meaning behind his work on social media, Novy’s message of renewal, hope, and optimism resonated with me. His special style of public art is ubiquitous. Once you know what to look for, you begin spotting koi in all sorts of spots. His style addresses how art ignites curiosity and shows us our world with fresh eyes.”
Visitors to the piece will be able to move among the fish, activating the artwork. Over the past two years, the way people live and work has changed, making outdoor art and attractions essential to the vitality of cities. Parks and widely available green spaces will play a key role in Hattiesburg’s recovery, and placing this work in a park honoring nationally known philanthropist Oseola McCarty ties together the tremendous value of the cultural and economic life of Hattiesburg.
“I’m proud to live in a town that boasts 34 murals. This adds another great artwork to that list,” added Edmonson. “My family and I are thrilled to live in a city which values the arts and are thankful to participate in public placemaking efforts.”
HAPA continues to expand public art offerings in Hattiesburg, highlighting the city as Mississippi’s creative hub. “Koi Across the World” increases the number of large-scale projects on the HBURG Public Art Trail to 49 stops, many of which were designed by Hattiesburg and Mississippi natives who add a diverse, creative energy in the community.
“The support of partners who believe in our creative economy allows HAPA to execute a shared vision for Hattiesburg as an artistic destination,” said Marlo Dorsey, executive director of VisitHATTIESBURG. “We are thankful for the opportunity to once again work with the Edmonsons and City of Hattiesburg to bring a monumental art piece such as this that connects Hattiesburg with other cities across the world through Novy’s iconic koi.”
“Koi Across the World” is HAPA’s third large-scale mural of 2022. There are several more projects planned for the year, including murals and utility boxes placed around the city. For a map of public art in Hattiesburg, visit HAPA’s Facebook and Instagram pages or hattiesburgpublicart.com.
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A program of VisitHATTIESBURG, HAPA began in 2014 through the leadership of community members and generous donors passionate about publicly sharing art and making it accessible to all. In the past six years, HAPA has purchased and placed art throughout the city – in parks, neighborhoods, public buildings, and businesses – while also raising awareness for works of art already in the area. Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art is made possible through the support of local organizations and individuals who believe in the importance of public art.