‘All One People’ public art an inspiration in Ocean Springs

The Historic Ocean Springs Association unveiled the concept of a new piece of public art by Ocean Springs artist Chris Stebly, during the ribbon cutting ceremony for The Roost on Porter Avenue in Ocean Springs on Thursday.

Stebly’s “All One People” will be enlarged and transformed into a free-standing aluminum structure, which is estimated to be 10-feet tall and 24-feet wide. It will be located on the sea side of The Roost, which is a new boutique hotel at 604 Porter Ave.

“It is an inspiring piece of art from Chris’s heart and talent,” said HOSA’s president Melanie Allen. “And it is the vision he sees for our community, as all one people. It’s symbolism as well as the beauty of that piece of art is important to us.

“We partnered with The Roost for many reasons. This is an appropriate message right now for our community, and we love the fact that once again art symbolizes the heart and inspiration of Ocean Springs.”

The featured speaker at the Thursday event was U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker.

“We are here today in one of America’s prettiest cities. This is a tremendous example of government helping and government staying out of the way,” said Wicker referencing a point made earlier by The Roost co-owner Joe Cloyd that tax abatements were critical to the development of the project.

Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson complimented the HOSA and The Roost partnership. “This collaboration of profit and nonprofit partnership is a key to evolving nice communities into special and exceptional communities.”

HOSA and The Roost both received Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration grants from the Mississippi Humanities Council to support an original art installation by Stebly in the Old Historic District of Ocean Springs.

Stebley shared insights into the theme of All One People. He encouraged those in attendance to follow the principles spelled out in the piece: respect, peace and education.

“I support the building of bridges and tearing down walls,” said Stebly, the grandson of renowned Ocean Springs artist, the late Walter Anderson. “I suggest to you all to go out into nature. You will learn who you are.

“Let your brothers and sisters be whoever they want to be. Can’t we all just get along?”

Allen credited HOSA member Elizabeth Feder-Hosey with bringing the idea to HOSA. “We are grateful for the passion that led her to move this project forward and to bring it to HOSA.”

The Roost is a six-suite boutique hotel with a fine dining restaurant, Eat Drink Love, open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.