The Hattiesburg Convention Commission is pleased to add the Hattiesburg Pocket Art Gallery to the already bustling alley that boasts the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum and Hattiesburg Pocket Theater as well as other pieces of large interactive art.
The Art Gallery, described as the “Tiniest Art Gallery in Mississippi” is actually a renovated newspaper stand, fitting in with the theme of the downtown alleyway. The idea of the gallery came from inspiration given by Seattle artist Stacy Milrany, who opened the Free Little Art Gallery (FLAG) in December 2020 in an effort to “shed light, levity and beauty on a heavy year”. Miss Milrany encouraged other communities to start a similar gallery, and following her lead, the Hattiesburg Pocket Gallery encourages the public to “take a piece of art, leave a piece art or just have a look around”. The tiniest art gallery in Mississippi boasts small gallery patrons and easels that give full attention to each and every piece of art that is placed in the gallery by the public.
“Our hope is that artists and people who love art can have a continual exchange of creativity and joy” said Rick Taylor, Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which is responsible for the creation and management of the Pocket Gallery. “If someone loves a piece and is inspired by it – it’s theirs to keep and perhaps that will inspire them to add a piece to the gallery”.
The rules of the gallery are simple: Add a piece or take a piece and scan the QR code to let the museum know what you are leaving or a photo of what you are taking home so the artist can see where it goes! Art can be abstract pieces, charcoal, water color, textile art, wire art, collages, clay or anything you can dream of! Milo, the gallery owner, asks that you “keep it small” (less than 4”x6”) so that the gallery patrons can enjoy them! Speaking of the gallery patrons, Milo asks that when placing your art, you leave the patrons and furnishings in place – they are his friends, of course, and he wants to ensure they stay in the alley and enjoy your art for a long time.
The Hattiesburg Pocket Art Gallery is open 24/7 for visitors and monitored by cameras for the “little people’s” safety. It will be fascinating to see the interesting exchanges of creative art and joy as well as the new stories that will evolve from this additional downtown gem.