Lucedale's Growing Desire For Art

The new Lucedale Amphitheater is still months away from being finished. City leaders say some recent projects show there's a growing desire for more arts in Lucedale.

"Let me show you something really neat. It's a wine holder," artist Jim Corley says as he picks up a clay hand.

Corley made it himself.

Like many artists in Lucedale, he has no place to display his work and no place for someone to go and enjoy it.

"It's my wife. (It's) very smooth. I promised her if she posed for me, there'd be no wrinkles," Corley says as he brushed his hand across a statue.

The statue is one of the few displays of art in Lucedale. Corley says there should be more. Not only does he promote fine arts in the community, but he has also helped push for the new amphitheater planned for the park.

Corley says a little culture is something Lucedale needs.

"It's easier to bring it here than it is to bring the county to a museum somewhere," Corley laughs.

The piles of dirt show Lucedale has taken the first step in bringing an amphitheater to the park, but it's not the only thing the city has done to promote the fine arts.

"Years of wear," Mayor Dayton Whites says as he looks at the floor in the new Fine Arts Building.

The building was the old American Legion Hall. Mayor Whites says it was donated to the city a few years back. Lucedale renovated the building and turned it into the new Fine Arts Building.

"We have ballroom dancing taught here, and we also have square dancers that use it one night a week," Whites says.

The city also plans to use the space to display work from local artists.

"This was shown here at our April art show," Corley adds.

Though Corley himself hasn't signed up for the new dance classes. He said many people will.