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News Local HAPA calls for local artists to showcase talent

HAPA calls for local artists to showcase talent

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The Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Arts (HAPA) is teaming up with the city of Hattiesburg for a new program called the Call for Artists. 

Call for Artists is a city-wide collaborative project that invites local artists to paint designs on utility boxes around the city. Artists with experience in public art or painting are invited to submit up to three original artworks for consideration. Artists will receive a stipend for each completed piece, with applications, which must include a concept statement, being accepted through Feb. 5.

The selected designs  will be painted in February and will continue to be created throughout summer 2021.

“Hattiesburg is an arts community, and we should always endeavor to provide opportunities for emerging artists to showcase their work and ingenuity,” Mayor Toby Barker, when asked about the project, said. “I appreciate HAPA stepping forward to support this innovative way of turning something mundane, such as a traffic signal box, into a community asset that can also feature the immense creative talent in our city.”

The first phase of this project was completed in the summer of 2020. It included five boxes painted by local artists such as Vixon Sullivan, Thomas Jackson and Kalamity Kam.

Locals and visitors can currently see these boxes at the following locations:

  • “Keep Your Dream Alive” by Vixon Sullivan, Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue & JC Killingsworth Drive
  • “Graves Brothers” by Thomas Jackson, Hardy Street and South 21st Avenue
  • “Heroes” by Thomas Jackson, South 28th Avenue & Hillendale Drive
  • “Let’s Play Ball” by Thomas Jackson, Hardy Street & Park Avenue
  • “Unified” by Kalamity Kam, Hardy Street and Broad Street

“These utility boxes are great canvases for artists to create something beautiful, encouraging, and thought provoking. Public art offers a new perspective and evokes wonder for the community,” said Sullivan. “My phase one mural is intended to remind us that we are all capable and move us closer to self-actualization.” 

The Hattiesburg Community Arts Center and Southern Miss Alumni Association will assist in presenting this second phase of the utility box series. Some judging criteria for the final selections include artistic merit, creativity, demonstrated ability, technical knowledge and interpretation of theme.

“We are excited to see the inspiring concepts proposed for this latest public art project in Hattiesburg. The series will certainly add another layer to our growing popularity as an artistic, vibrant community and destination,” Marlo Dorsey, Executive Director of VisitHattiesburg, said. For more details and instructions, interested artists may visit hattiesburgpublicart.org/call-for-artists. To learn more about HAPA and for a map of existing public art in Hattiesburg, visit HAPA’s Facebook and Instagram pages or hattiesburgpublicart.org.

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