Local artists wanted for murals on Katrina high water markers

In a continued effort to integrate art into the community, the city of Bay St. Louis has awarded a grant to the Katrina High Water Mark Revitalization Project.

In 2010 two concrete slabs were constructed to memorialize the flood peak water level after Hurricane Katrina. 12 years later the markers are getting re-branded.

Hancock Leadership Council’s Michelle Fleming said, “As they were trying to rebuild the city here, there was some negative feed back that those were– as he [Steve Barney] called them– lightning rods and people didn’t want to move here because the water got that high.”

The project will enable local artists to design “Welcome to BSL” murals on the slabs at the northern most gateway to Bay St. Louis: I-10, exit 13.

Hancock Leadership Council’s Steve Barney said, “We believe in this concept of creative place making where public murals can help redefine the space and engage people and help tell a story. And that’s what we’re hoping to do is retell the story of those concrete markers up on the highway.”

As a part of the Wall-To-Wall Public Arts Festival, 14 murals have been painted around Old Town, all of which depict the history and culture of Bay St. Louis.

Although they won’t be displayed downtown, the inspiration for the markers is the same.

“Our inspiration is really these 1950’s kinda kitschy ‘Greetings From’ beach side postcards. So we are inspiring people to use that as an inspiration and also include imagery which represents the diversity in what makes Bay St. Louis so artsy and unique,” said Barney.

Two designs will be picked, one for each marker.

There will be an adult division, which is open to professional and amateur artists in the city limits, and a youth division, open to all public, private, and home-schooled students in Bay St. Louis.

For more information about the contest email bslmuralcontest@gmail.com.

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