“WE ARE THE FUTURE” EDUCATION MURAL UNVEILED IN HAWKINS NEIGHBORHOODApril 11, 2022
HATTIESBURG, MS (April 11, 2022) – Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art (HAPA), a program of VisitHATTIESBURG, unveiled a second mural in a week’s time today. Located near Hawkins Elementary School, “We Are The Future,” was designed by Miami artist Sergio Arce to serve as an inspiration to youth in the community.
“With the help of many partners, HAPA continues to brighten corridors in Hattiesburg as the city continues to become the Gulf South’s premier arts destination. We are grateful to the Hattiesburg Public School District and Ekklesia’s Neighbors at Hawkins program for working alongside us to bring this vision to life,“ said Marlo Dorsey, executive director/CEO of VisitHATTIESBURG. “Sergio is an incredible artist, and his passion for uplifting America’s youth is evident through the completed project.”
Arce was selected as the muralist for the educational project through a competitive call for artists and juried process. He specializes in pop art influenced by comics. As founder of non- profit aWall Mural Projects, Arce and other artists work to transform schools across the country through creative collaboration, while immersing students in the creative process. In his submission for the Hattiesburg project, Arce noted he hoped the mural would inspire students to “prepare for the future with knowledge needed to soar like a rocket in this world.”
“We Are the Future” is a Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art project, partially funded by Hattiesburg Public School District and Ekklesia Hattiesburg’s Neighbors at Hawkins program. The mural is approximately 25 feet high x 80 feet wide. It was completed by Arce and his assistant Ivan Roque, who previously completed the “Together as One” mural in Hattiesburg.
Located in downtown Hattiesburg, across from Hawkins Elementary School, the colorful and engaging design will be viewed by hundreds of children daily. The mural’s focus on the importance of education, community, and diversity makes it an important addition to the HBURG Public Art Trail.
“The impulse for planting our church almost 15 years began with the conviction that a church should center its work on serving its neighbors. The first thing we did as a community was offer ourselves to the Hawkins Elementary School family, and we were asked to beautify their cafeteria,” said Michael Dixon, Ekklesia pastor. “Now, all these years later, we are still here and get to help with this mural in the neighborhood. We are excited for this special project but are more honored by the ways we get to partner with the incredible work Hawkins does every day of the year.”
Ahead of the unveiling, school children were invited to meet Arce to hear about his process and the theme of the mural. All students in attendance today received a coloring sheet of the mural as a memento, encouraging them to explore their own creativity.
“We Are the Future” is one of several projects HAPA has in the works, with more than a dozen murals to be added in 2022. This mural increases the number of large-scale projects on the HBURG Public Art Trail to 48 stops in total, with 33 of those being murals. For a map of public art in Hattiesburg, visit HAPA’s Facebook and Instagram pages or hattiesburgpublicart.com.