Biloxi Bay Bridge artists honored for helping create a "masterpiece"

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - When a new Biloxi Bay Bridge rose from Hurricane Katrina's devastation, state transportation leaders said they wanted it to be more than a thoroughfare, but a work of art. Thursday, MDOT honored more than a dozen local artists whose works allow the bridge to reflect the coast's rich heritage and culture.

People who walk the Biloxi Bay Bridge say they enjoy the exercise and the beautiful view that includes a trail of creatively designed mile markers.

Iris and James Bryson of Gulfport said, "Kind of lets you know the mileage you've got left and it's pretty to look at."

The South Mississippi artists whose designs adorn the bridge used their imaginations to capture what coast life is all about with depictions of seafood, Mardi Gras and other themes.

"The live oaks are just a testimony to the people of the coast, the resiliency of the coast and the beauty of the coast," said artist Robert Waldrop.

MDOT also honored Greg Moran, the local sculptor who transformed their paintings and drawings into three-dimensional bronze plaques.

"There's more to the bridge than just the conveyance of traffic, and from my point of view this entire project is a true masterpiece," said Moran. "For generations to come and for people that aren't even born yet, this bridge will be part of their conscienceness of this Gulf Coast. All of us standing here right now are the ones responsible for this."

The artists say it's nice to know their vision will still be admired for generations to come.

Artist Marlynn Spicer said, "I am proud of it. It's going to be there forever. Greg Moran did an excellent job with them and to know that I was apart of making this bridge more attractive and beautiful. Something for people to look at and enjoy when they walk."

"We're getting more progressive here in Mississippi and we're getting some enlightened ideas," said artist Glenn Miller. "People are realizing more and more how valuable artists are and how they can beautify something, say an industrial type of a structure like the bridge, and give it a more human touch."

MDOT officials say the metal used to create the art came from materials recovered from the destroyed bridge.

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