Hattiesburg residents were able to explore and celebrate the city’s local art scene during the first ever Ink in the Alley on March 27.
Ink in the Alley, presented by and hosted near the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum, lasted from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Though there were some weather concerns going into the event, and a fair bit of wind to contend with at its start, guests came in droves to support local artists and businesses. Because it was an outdoor event, the Pocket Museum encouraged guests to socially distance in order to keep everyone safe.
Fully free to attend, guests were able to visit several booths near the Pocket Museum showcasing local art. Prints, stickers, t-shirts, koozies and more were available for purchase, with all the proceeds going directly to the people that made them.
Hattiesburg local and Southern Miss alumni Melanie Uggen attended the event with her daughter and their pug, Charlie.
“I love it! I absolutely love it,” said Uggen. “I love how everybody’s got things that you can purchase from local artists and support local people, local companies. And I like that there’s things for the kids to do, there’s things for grown-ups to do — it’s been really fun so far!”
Some of the artists at Ink in the Alley also worked at local tattoo parlors like Lady Luck Tattoo and Hattiesburg Tattoo. Though guests were unable to get permanent tattoos on site, they were able to look through artist portfolios and schedule tattooing appointments for later on. More adventurous guests could even get a temporary tattoo for a dollar by sticking their arm into a makeshift graffiti door.
Stoneyboy, an artist at and the owner of Hattiesburg Tattoo, loved seeing the community come together to celebrate its art scene.
“It’s awesome,” Stoneyboy said. “I mean, this is our first year doing it and it’s a great turnout. I appreciate everyone coming out and supporting [us].”
The nearby Saenger Theater brought out their Art-O-Matic to help celebrate Ink in the Alley. The Art-O-Matic, made from an old cigarette dispenser, held several smaller paintings and trinkets for guests to get. The Saenger also helped out with Ink in the Alley’s Tattoo Contest, where guests showed off their best or funniest tattoos to win prizes.
Other local businesses also managed to get in on the action. The Blooms Company gave out free black roses for the first ten guests that bought an official Ink in the Alley t-shirt. Southern Prohibition helped provide drinks for the event, while Hub Spins gave guests cotton candy to snack on. Even the Hattiesburg Zoo joined the fun, allowing Sebastian the African porcupine to tour the event with Zoo Outreach Coordinator Laura Leggett.
Ramona Lisa Wicht, the owner of the Alley Cats Axe Throwing Company, was thrilled to help out with Ink in the Alley. She hosted an axe-throwing booth that guests could test their skills in.
“This is such a wonderful opportunity to get out, be among our community and start living again,” said Wicht. “God has given us a beautiful day for this, people are here in such big numbers and I believe it’s kicking off the best that’s yet to come.”
Guests and coordinators alike were thrilled with Ink in the Alley’s success, and the Pocket Museum hopes to make the celebration an annual one.
For more updates about the Pocket Museum or Ink in the Alley, be sure to check out the Pocket Museum’s official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HattiesburgPocketMuseum.