WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - This is LiLi Stahler Murphy's final term as an alderman in Waveland, and she wanted to do something special before her public service was over.
She wanted to make sure that an important part of Waveland was rebuilt. While she knows infrastructure can heal the economy, she also knows that art can heal the soul. In this case, the artwork is a single mosaic.
More than two years after Waveland's new city hall opened for business on Coleman Avenue, the finishing touch on the building will finally be done by Thanksgiving. That's when the long-anticipated City Hall Mosaic should be complete.
The first mosaic was destroyed along with the old city hall. The new one represents one of the final puzzle pieces toward recovery on Mississippi's West Coast.
"I had a bucket list," Murphy said. "One of the things that was really important was for the people of Waveland to have their mosaic back on city hall."
With the help of Elizabeth Veglia, the artist who supervised the first project for the city hall in 1997, Murphy secured funds from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the City of Waveland to complete the task. The total bill was $18,000.
What makes this interesting is that it's not a one-artist project. It's a community effort. In fact, there will be lessons on how to do mosaics.
Veglia, who has done about 10 major mosaic projects on the Coast including the Ocean Springs Bridge, will oversee a series of workshops as she did with the original mosaic. People will learn the basics and create their own images to be included in the mosaic.
Classes begin Sept. 16, at Waveland's Ground Zero Museum on Coleman Avenue. They will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
Included in the design will be the St. Patrick's Day Parade, buildings from the past and sea images that represent Waveland. The design, Veglia said, is inspired by the City of Waveland logo.
"We will have many of the same type of images in it as the original, but it will be original because this is 2014 and our lives are different now," said Veglia.
"I think this will finish off city hall and will make it the people's place," said Murphy.