New mural being painted in downtown Hattiesburg

New mural being painted in downtown Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A new mural is coming to downtown Hattiesburg. The project is a collaboration of the Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art and the cancer charitable organization Laughs 4 Life.

Laughs 4 Life was started by Kent Oliver after battling cancer himself. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. During treatments, Oliver says one way he made it through was by laughter.

“When anybody goes through a health event, laughter can be impactful,” Oliver said. “Laughter escapes you. It’s tough to deal with some of those things, so as I started to bounce back from that, one of the things my wife and I wanted to do was to contribute this element of laughter to our community. In doing so, we started hosting an annual event called Laughs 4 Life, bringing in comedians to the Saenger Theater and downtown Hattiesburg. In the process, we have raised a little bit over $600,000 to support cancer research.”

Kent explains why the mural is coming to the community.

“A few months back I kind of had this vision behind a mural to bring the community together in a unique way, to hopefully allow the community to engage with public art like this,” Oliver said. “And I think that’s something, you know we’ve seen some great murals going up around town, and so it’s just kind of neat to be a part of that. In a way that hopefully gets people smiling as they interact with this wall.”

The mural is expected to be finished in the next two weeks.

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