HAPA UNVEILS FIRST PROJECT OF 2021March 5, 2021
HATTIESBURG, MS – Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art (HAPA) unveiled its first project of 2021 this week, adding to the extensive public arts collection across the city. Following a record-high of nine public art murals introduced by HAPA in 2020, plans are in the works for a number of additional projects this year.
Titled “Courage”, the newest design highlights people, industries, and organizations whose service and leadership have greatly contributed to the advancement and growth of community and country. The piece is dedicated in honor of the many acts of courage exhibited throughout Hattiesburg’s history.
“As Hattiesburg continues to emerge as the artistic hub of the Gulf South, public art celebrating the diversity, creativity, and foundations of our community is vital,” Marlo Dorsey, executive director of VisitHATTIESBURG, said. “This mural provides a creative outlet for residents and guests to enjoy while also recognizing the incredible contributions made by those who came before us.”
Located adjacent to Veterans Memorial Park at the gateway into Downtown Hattiesburg, the mural is the work of Pine Belt artist River Prince. Measuring 18’ tall x 115’ wide, the design features the seals of all five United States military branches and is now the largest mural in Hattiesburg.
“Veterans Memorial Park is a sacred space which remembers the courage of all who have served in defense of our nation, particularly the 173 individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Mayor Toby Barker said. “’Courage’ is a fitting artistic addition to the park, as it honors the people and institutions that gave our community its strength and character. I appreciate River Prince, the Church at 4 Points, the Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art and the Hattiesburg Veterans Committee for their collaboration on this mural.”
To further grow Hattiesburg’s artistic landscape, HAPA has partnered with businesses and artists throughout Hattiesburg to add creative, lively pieces to Hattiesburg’s alleyways and corridors. “Courage” is a collaboration between HAPA and The Church at 4 Points.
“The desire of ours since purchasing The Farrior Building has been to see that space utilized as a positive addition to the landscape of Downtown Hattiesburg,” Chad Davis, church pastor, said. “The opportunity to partner in honoring the courage of the city’s residents both past and present is something we are thrilled to be a part of. The prominent piece featuring a true American hero, Jesse L. Brown, is something that we hope will honor him along with other veterans from the Hub City as a constant reminder overlooking Veterans Park.”
This latest piece joins more than 40 permanent sculptures and murals included in Hattiesburg’s public arts collection, including several of Prince’s designs.
“We are extremely excited to be a part of this mural project that brings something special to an important park in Downtown Hattiesburg,” Prince said. “It’s our hope that this piece attracts people to the area for a glimpse of what makes Hattiesburg special while instilling pride in residents.”
For a map of all public art stops 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. HAPA projects are supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part, from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.