Discovering the Vibrant Public Art Scene in Hattiesburg, MS

As an expert in the field of public art, I have had the pleasure of exploring the charming city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and its diverse and vibrant art scene. While it may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about public art, Hattiesburg offers a wide range of colorful murals and thought-provoking sculptures that reflect the city's rich history and culture.

The History of Public Art in Hattiesburg

Public art has been a part of Hattiesburg's landscape for decades, with one of the earliest known pieces being the iconic Hub City Mural. This beloved landmark, located on the side of a building in downtown, was created in 1978 by artist Bob Monteleone and depicts various scenes from Hattiesburg's history. In recent years, the city has made a conscious effort to expand its public art offerings with the creation of the Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art (HAPA) in 2014. This organization works to bring more public art to the city and has been instrumental in commissioning new pieces and revitalizing existing ones.

Murals Galore

Murals are one of the most prominent forms of public art in Hattiesburg. These large-scale paintings can be found throughout the city, adding pops of color and personality to otherwise ordinary buildings.

The Luckyday Foundation Mural

, located on Main Street, is a prime example of this.

Created by local artist Kelsey Wishik, this vibrant mural features colorful abstract shapes and patterns that represent the diversity and unity of the Hattiesburg community. Another must-see mural is The Spectrum Mural, located on the side of the Spectrum Sip & Savor building. This stunning piece, created by artist Kelsey Wishik and HAPA, features a rainbow of colors and geometric shapes that represent the city's LGBTQ+ community.

Sculptures with a Story

In addition to murals, Hattiesburg is also home to several noteworthy sculptures that add a unique touch to the city's public spaces. One such sculpture is The Spirit of Freedom, located in Veterans Memorial Park. This powerful piece, created by artist Ben Watts, pays tribute to the sacrifices made by military veterans and serves as a reminder of the importance of freedom. Another notable sculpture is The Hattiesburg Train, located in Chain Park.

This whimsical piece, created by artist Ben Watts, features a colorful train engine and cars that represent different aspects of Hattiesburg's history and culture.

Art in Unexpected Places

One of the most exciting things about public art in Hattiesburg is that it can be found in unexpected places. For example, The Artie Building, located on Main Street, not only offers shopping and dining options but also features a rotating outdoor art gallery. This unique concept allows local artists to display their work in a public space, giving them exposure and adding to the city's ever-growing art scene. Another unexpected location for public art is The Pocket Museum, located on the University of Southern Mississippi campus. This small outdoor exhibit features miniature sculptures created by students and faculty from the university's Department of Art and Design.

The pieces change regularly, making it a fun and ever-changing attraction for students and visitors alike.


From murals to sculptures, Hattiesburg's public art scene is a true reflection of the city's vibrant and diverse community. Whether you're a local looking to explore your own backyard or a visitor passing through, be sure to take some time to discover the many unique and thought-provoking pieces of public art that can be found throughout this charming southern city.

Ivy Scudder
Ivy Scudder

Incurable social media enthusiast. Freelance pop culture lover. Proud zombie lover. Incurable food junkie. Devoted coffee evangelist.