New sculpture brings music to Downtown Biloxi

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Biloxi’s award winning downtown continues to make the Coast a cultural destination for all. This weekend, Biloxi Main Street celebrated one of the city’s newest art projects.

Biloxi welcomed its newest piece of art to the community Saturday at a ribbon cutting ceremony. The installation of the giant blue saxophone is part of Biloxi Main Street’s mission to engage the public as well as activate previously underutilized space in Downtown Biloxi. Biloxi Main Street President Corey Christy said, “Well it started with us just wanting to color up the streets of Biloxi for a few reasons. For one, to give people some way finding to help find their way downtown. Two, to give people access to art, because, you know, a lot of people do want to see and experience art, but they’re not sure they want to go into a museum or gallery. So, this brings art to them and then also to put our artists to work.”

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Christy put out a call to artists across the region back in January to find someone to create a piece for historic Downtown Biloxi. That’s how Christy and Main Street Biloxi found New Orleans artist Marcus Brown and his Human Universal Musical Sculpture also called ‘HUMS.’ Brown said, “I was looking for a community that was, A, it would be awesome, I was looking for a community that would be close by that would appreciate the piece. I felt like– I kind of felt like New Orleans has a lot of things going on and– not that they’re not positive things– but I felt like its time in New Orleans, it needed to be somewhere where it would be appreciated and loved more.”

‘HUMS’ combines both visual art and music through the sculptures hands-on components. “To me, it adds a layer of like soulfulness to a project, you know. Like it’s great to have visual things, but this is also something that I can see somebody who’s blind appreciating,” said Brown.

The new interactive sculpture plays when touched in one of four places, including the mouth plate and three plates. Human electricity triggers the sound. Each sound bite you hear is a recording of Brown playing his saxophone. “And we will hopefully be able to change that with the seasons. So, Halloween we can put some spooky music in there. Christmas, we can put some Christmas music in there and have it really be something people come back to and enjoy all year,” said Christy.

Additionally, the sculpture is acting as a catalyst for further economic development in the downtown area. “This lot that we’re standing on is going to be fully developed in a few weeks. Really built from having the sculpture here. The owners liked it and decided they’re going to put some money into it and make this an actual destination in itself.”

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