Jackson County

A new splash of color is coming to downtown Ocean Springs

Owners of a building on the corner of Washington Avenue and Bowen Avenue painted over this 1990s mural by Chris Stebly in March. A grant will help the city replace it.
Owners of a building on the corner of Washington Avenue and Bowen Avenue painted over this 1990s mural by Chris Stebly in March. A grant will help the city replace it.

Chis Stebly will replace the mural on Bowen Avenue downtown that had faded and was painted over in March.

The Historic Ocean Springs Association secured a $8,000 grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council and has a pledge of local money to bring the total to $10,000.

The new public art mural will look somewhat like the old mural, but Stebly plans also to tackle a depiction of “the history and culture of Ocean Springs.”

A location for the new mural is still to be announced, but Stebly told the Sun Herald on Thursday night that he’s looking forward to the project.

Melanie Allen, with HOSA, said the organization is partnering with the developers of The Roost hotel — Joe and Jessica Cloyd, Adam Dial and Ted and Roxanne Condrey — along with Elizabeth Feder-Hosey of the Feder Family Foundation, to secure the mural.

The grant is a Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration grant.

“As Mississippi marks her 200th birthday, the MHC is encouraging communities to reflect upon their own contributions and culture to the heritage of the state,” Allen said. “Here in Ocean Springs, art is so ingrained in our culture that the opportunity to seek funds for a new public art mural by Chris Stebly seemed a natural project.”

She said the community has said strongly that it wants to have the downtown mural back.

“What we don’t know completely yet is what final form the art will take,” she said, “but we have started working with Chris. He is as excited as we are, and we know that enthusiasm will translate into an awesome and insightful piece.

“It isn’t lost on us that years ago, Chris’s grandfather, Walter Anderson, created a mural that wasn’t completely appreciated by the majority, and was nearly painted over more than once,” she said. “Today, I think the city has it (the Walter Anderson mural at the Community Center) insured for more than $90 million.”

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