New sculpture spotlights Gulfport's maritime history

New sculpture spotlights Gulfport's maritime history

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - There's a new sculpture on display in the city of Gulfport. The stainless steel and bronze sculpture, named "Sailor", now has a permanent home in front of the U.S. Post Office on 13th Street.

It was donated to the city by the Mississippi Sound Maritime Historical Foundation. The foundation has already put up several permanent and temporary sculptures throughout the city as a way to get people talking about art.

"We're trying to create a real dialogue about public art in downtown Gulfport," said John Harral, President of the Mississippi Sound Maritime Historical Foundation. "We think no city can be great without having public art. Now we have some public art here in the city that's been around a long time but we want to have more and newer pieces."

Most of the pieces on display in Gulfport were created by artists from across the southeast region. Sculptor Jim Collins said he had a smaller version of "Sailor" on display in Gulfport last year. This larger version took about 5 to 6 months to make and he's very proud of it.

"It's like children. You know you love each one. So I hope this will be a middle child that means I hope to get another job," Collins said.

This new piece has a maritime theme. Harral said it represents Gulfport's great maritime history.

"We think the citizens of Gulfport deserve to have some real fine iconic pieces of sculpture."

Harral said there will be more permanent and rotating pieces of artwork later this year.

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