Uncovering the Hidden Gems of Public Arts in Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg, Mississippi is a city known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse community. One aspect of this city that often goes unnoticed is its thriving public arts scene. From colorful murals to interactive sculptures, Hattiesburg is home to a variety of public art installations that add beauty and character to the city.

The Importance of Public Arts

Public art plays a crucial role in shaping the identity and character of a city. It not only adds aesthetic value but also serves as a means of cultural expression and community engagement.

Public art can also serve as a tool for economic development, attracting tourists and businesses to the area. In Hattiesburg, public arts have become an integral part of the city's landscape. The city has made a conscious effort to support and promote public arts through various initiatives and programs.

The Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art

The Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art (HAPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting public arts in the city. Founded in 2014, HAPA has been instrumental in bringing numerous public art installations to Hattiesburg. HAPA works closely with local artists, businesses, and community members to identify potential locations for public art installations. They also provide funding and resources for artists to create their pieces.

Some of the notable public art installations in Hattiesburg that were made possible by HAPA include the "Welcome to Hattiesburg" mural on Main Street and the "Hattiesburg Strong" sculpture at Town Square Park.

The University of Southern Mississippi's Public Art Program

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) also plays a significant role in promoting public arts in Hattiesburg. The university's Public Art Program was established in 2011 with the goal of enhancing the campus and surrounding community through public art. The program has brought several notable public art installations to the USM campus, including the "Spirit of the Land" sculpture and the "Southern Miss Mosaic" mural. These installations not only add beauty to the campus but also serve as a source of inspiration and pride for students, faculty, and visitors.

Public Arts Education in Hattiesburg

In addition to promoting and supporting public arts, Hattiesburg also offers educational programs for those interested in learning more about this form of art. The Hattiesburg Arts Council, in collaboration with HAPA, offers workshops and classes on various aspects of public arts, such as mural painting, sculpture making, and community engagement. The University of Southern Mississippi also offers courses on public arts as part of its Bachelor of Fine Arts program.

These courses cover topics such as public art history, theory, and practice, providing students with a well-rounded understanding of this unique form of art.

Future of Public Arts in Hattiesburg

The future looks bright for public arts in Hattiesburg. With the continued support from organizations like HAPA and USM's Public Art Program, we can expect to see more exciting and innovative public art installations in the city. One upcoming project that has generated a lot of buzz is the "Hattiesburg Gateway Project." This project aims to transform the entrance to downtown Hattiesburg into a vibrant and welcoming space through public art installations.


Public arts have become an integral part of Hattiesburg's identity and culture. Through the efforts of organizations like HAPA and USM's Public Art Program, the city has been able to showcase the talents of local artists and engage the community in a meaningful way. With the continued support and participation of the community, we can expect to see Hattiesburg's public arts scene continue to thrive and evolve.

Ivy Scudder
Ivy Scudder

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