Gulfport students create colorful downtown mural

Gulfport students create colorful downtown mural

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A colorful and creative public art project is turning heads in downtown Gulfport. That's where a blank wooden wall has become a unique canvas for some high school art students.

Art instructor Angel Helms leads her team of students on a very visible public art project. They are transforming a construction barrier wall into a brightly colored, coastal themed mural.

Keturah Standberry says she can't wait to drive by the finished project, knowing she had a hand in creating it.

"An absolutely awesome opportunity to give back to our community, and it's really cool. As you see, we're giving life to downtown Gulfport," Standberry said.

Passersby are taking notice of this highly visible work in progress. A former blank wall is now adorned with gators, dolphins and fishing boats.

"Everybody that's coming this way, they're going to see this and go, 'Wow. That's what we can do on the Coast? This is a great place to live,'" said Helms.

Main Street Director Laurie Toups, who helped come up with the idea for this public art, says it's a perfect fit for downtown.

"I'm so enthusiastic about the changes coming to downtown Gulfport. There's a lot of events and things that are getting ready to take place," said Toups.

The students creating the mural say the bright colors will help the piece stand out among the downtown high rises and historic structures.

"I just want everything to pop off the walls, because everything is so plain colored here. We need something lively, colorful," said art student Makayla Henton.

The wall is actually part of a law firm's construction and expansion, which made the public art possible.

"It's really marvelous, and we really appreciate them doing it. I think it shows progress in downtown Gulfport," said attorney Ben Stone.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.