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Murals Kick Off Age of ‘New Gathering Spaces’ in Tupelo

Today, Tupelo Main Street is unveiling and celebrating the beginning of new spaces for gathering in Downtown Tupelo—the result of public and private partnerships—making Tupelo more attractive and user-friendly. 

Tupelo High School’s art students paint a mural in downtown Tupelo. Photo provided.

“Our partnerships have transformed long-neglected alleys into wonderful social environments for Downtown Tupelo, which supports the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association’s mission ‘to sustain and enhance the downtown experience,’” said Debbie Brangenberg, Director of DTMSA.

Tupelo Rocks’ “Off the Wall Mural” project brought together Tupelo High School art students for the final mural between South Broadway and South Spring streets. Those students involved in the project: Victoria Van, Mary Carson Kieffer, Sarah Bradley, Belle Ware, Matthew Patty, Kylie Moore, Maddie West, Laina Lowry, Hannah Edwards, Summer Kirksey, Capri Fears, Laken Templton Olivia Love and Maury Johnston, under the mentoring of TPS art teachers Anna Garner and Kit Stafford with local artist Belle Naugher.

Mar Joe Torrencampo, Maria de Lujan Perez Hernadez, Kit Stafford, and Reid Caldwell designed and painted other murals in the project.

The concept evolved out of Mayor Jason Shelton’s travel to other communities. He saw the benefit of taking unattractive alleys and making them into social environments. Shelton returned home, and made Tupelo’s alleys a top priority.

“We are fortunate in Tupelo to have a progressive community that is willing to learn from successful projects in other cities and then take the initiative to implement these great ideas right here at home to help improve quality of life for our citizens and guests,” Shelton said.

His directive provided the direction and ability of the DTMSA to collaborate with other City Departments, Tupelo Public Schools, Methodist Senior Services, CREATE, and Tupelo Rocks, to mention just a few, on the project, which cost $43,608.

The City of Tupelo Public Works Department furnished funds and labor for the alley’s surface. A grant from the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Qualify of Life committee added money for lighting, and Tupelo Water and Light accommodated the project with lights while Tupelo Parks and Recreation’s labor force installed the lighting.

In-kind design contributors included landscape architect and DTMSA board member Shipman Sloan and Sherwin Williams.

Press Release Courtesy of Tupelo Main Street

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