HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art is looking for an artist to design and create a mural at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church on 8th Street.
Pastor Carlos Wilson describes the growth in East Hattiesburg, saying that the addition of Chain Park and athletic courts create a community gathering space surrounding his church.
“Of course when I got here 23 years ago, none of this was here, but there was always a vision, a need for recreation, for a park," Wilson said. "We have watched that develop over the last 23 years.”
Visit Hattiesburg Executive Director Marlo Dorsey says that’s why a mural is being added to the back wall.
“Well, it also creates the perfect backdrop for a beautiful public art piece, and we are certainly thankful to Pastor Carlos and all of his youth and many practitioners to let us come and partner with them and have an artist paint a beautiful backdrop,” Dorsey said.
The theme of the mural is “Your Life Matters,” something that Wilson emphasizes with the youth in his community. Wilson says that for a gathering place, the message is the perfect positive message to share.
“So your life matters will hopefully signal to some of the guys and girls who gather around here that life is important, and you can do things, and you can make contributions and you can be a part of community,” Wilson said. "And your life, your individual life, matters far more than some people understand.”
Dorsey says she wants the mural to spread that message further than just the church and park next door.
“We want people to come here, take a photo, post it on social media, talk about all the beauty and the importance of how their life really does matter," Dorsey said. "And partnerships and collaboration are really what make communities and destinations great.”
Artists interested can apply to the alliance before 5 p.m. on Oct. 25. The mural cover will cover the 11.5-by-33-foot wall and will be completed in November.