BSL searching for artists to design murals for Katrina high water markers

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) – The city of Bay St. Louis is looking for some local talent to refresh the Hurricane Katrina high water markers.

The Bay St. Louis City Council has awarded a grant for the Katrina High Water Mark Revitalization Project. The project will allow local artists to design and paint “Welcome to BSL” murals on concrete slabs at Interstate 10 Exit 13, the northernmost gateway in Bay St. Louis.

The slabs were constructed in 2010 to memorialize the flood peak water level after 2005 Hurricane Katrina. But in 2012, any mention of Katrina was erased when the slabs were painted over. City leaders said the daily reminder of the deadly storm wasn’t what they want developers and tourists to see.

The high water markers along I-10 in Hancock County show that Hurricane Katrina's flood waters...
The high water markers along I-10 in Hancock County show that Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters reached a height of about 20 feet, just below the I-10 overpass.

The latest project is a collaboration between the city and the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce.

“We have a long history of partnering with the City of Bay St. Louis and our local artists to create opportunities to beautify our landscape, showcase our diversity and engage our community,” said Tish Williams, executive director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. “Building on that history, it’s a great time to take on this project. I am so glad to see this vision to beautify the I-10 entrance mural become reality thanks to a grant from the city.”

Artists are asked to design in the popular vintage postcard style “Greetings from BSL.” Artists are asked to consider a variety of themes representing the diversity of the city’s culture, heritage and people. Each artist may submit one design for consideration. The design should be fully rendered in color. Original artwork can be created in any medium, such as marker, colored pencil, acrylic, watercolor or digital.

Two designs will be selected, one for the north-facing eastbound ramp and one for the south-facing westbound ramp. Selected muralists will receive a $500 stipend to paint the murals with logistics and volunteer support. All materials will be provided.

The contest will be comprised of two divisions, youth and adult. The youth division is open to any student who is enrolled as a student in an accredited public or private secondary school within Bay St. Louis city limits. Home school students residing in Bay St. Louis are eligible for the youth division. The adult division is open to all residents who reside in Bay St. Louis. Professional and amateur artists can apply.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 25, 2022. for more information, email [email protected].

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