This Southern City Is a Top Art Destination in the World

This article is part of our daily Regional Highlights series which features unique businesses, attractions and events around the South (outside of Georgia.)

Travel+Leisure magazine shared 11 cities around the world that are best for seeing public art.

Paris? Check.

Berlin? Check.

Melbourne? Check.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi? WHAT!

This Southern City Is a Top Art Destination in the World
Courtesy of Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art 

Unexpected, yes… but not undeserved!

Hattiesburg, Mississippi, might not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of vibrant public art scenes, yet this Southern city is bustling with over 50 colorful murals (with 50 more already planned), intriguing sculptures like the Elephants shown above which stand tall at the Hattiesburg Zoo, and 44 painted utility boxes.

The murals each telling a unique story or celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the region. They range from abstract compositions to realistic portrayals, with themes that delve into the community’s history, aspirations, and character. The city plans to add another 50 murals, showing a commitment to nurturing this visual dialogue and making art accessible to all.

Don’t overlook the 44 utility box paintings bring joy and creativity to the street corners. These boxes, often overlooked urban elements, become canvases for artists to express their creativity, engage with the public, and contribute to the city’s aesthetic and identity.

The public sculptures are not mere attractions but landmarks that evoke curiosity and wonder. They serve as points of interaction, where art and community meet, creating spaces for conversation, reflection, and shared experiences.

The Hattiesburg Public Art Scene graciously offers maps for the murals and sculptures, as well as a Utility Box Trail, inviting you to embark on an artistic journey through the city. These initiatives not only highlight the art but also the thought and planning behind making art an integral part of the city’s fabric.

This Southern City Is a Top Art Destination in the World
Courtesy of Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art 

Comparing Hattiesburg’s art scene with those in Paris, Berlin, and Melbourne reveals a common thread – the belief in art’s power to transform spaces, engage communities, and stimulate economic and cultural vitality. Yet, Hattiesburg’s approach is unique in its grassroots nature, its embrace of local history and culture, and its commitment to making art an everyday experience rather than a confined gallery or museum encounter.

The impact of Hattiesburg’s public art extends beyond aesthetics. It stimulates local economies by attracting tourists, supporting artists, and encouraging investment in the arts. It also fosters community pride and ownership, as residents see their stories and heritage reflected in the art around them.

Looking ahead, the city’s planned art projects promise to keep the momentum going, with themes that resonate with contemporary issues and celebrate local narratives. These future projects are not just about adding more art; they are about deepening the conversation between art and community, and reinforcing Hattiesburg’s place on the map as a hub for public art.

This city’s public art scene is a testament to the transformative power of art in urban spaces. Be sure to take it all in on a weekend away in Hattiesburg.

Follow us here: Facebook | X | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | MSN | TripAdvisor | Flipboard | NewsBreak

All articles belong to 365 Atlanta Family LLC, and all photos belong to us as well, unless otherwise noted. It’s all copyrighted. Please don’t repost anything elsewhere without asking me first. All rights reserved. This site uses cookies to enhance your experience.

We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.

Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting, restaurants, attractions or brands. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.

United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC

View our Privacy Policy | Subscribe to our Newsletter | Contact Site Owner | View Terms & Conditions | About Us

This Southern City Is a Top Art Destination in the World