Foundation Seeking Artists to Design Museum Trail Mural

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – A second mural may soon be in the works for the Museum Trail, with the Jackson Heart Foundation now accepting submissions for its design.

The foundation is calling on artists to submit proposals for the design and painting of a public mural on the back of the Red Dot Storage building in the community of Belhaven.

The winner(s) will be chosen in December and will have until early spring to complete their work.

“We just finished one [mural] under the Fortification Bridge, and so, we looked for opportunities to add more art along the trail,” said Morgan Geary, executive director of the heart foundation. “It’s a great opportunity.”

The project is funded, in part, by Red Dot Storage, which has agreed to clean the wall before the painters begin their work.

“They contributed $10,000 to this project and part of that is now going to clean up the wall because there’s graffiti on it,” Geary said. “So we’re going to clean it up and prime it. The remaining amount allocated will go to artists, paint and supplies, and all that. The Jackson Heart Foundation will also contribute funds.

The mural, which is expected to be unveiled in the spring, is just one of many improvements underway for the long-awaited trail.

The Jackson Heart Foundation also received a $20,000 AARP Community Grant to install new benches, pet stations, bike racks and trash cans along the path. Those items should be installed in the coming weeks, she said.

“We have four benches and four bins, then we add two bike racks to [both] the north and south entrances to the trail,” she said.

In addition to sprucing up the trail, Geary said the improvements are designed to get more people to use it.

“We really try to make it a community focal point and a place for activity. Bring your family, bring your kids, bring your bikes,” she said. “As a heart health organization, promoting exercise, health and wellness is paramount. But we also really wanted to work on the community art side. Bringing public art to the trail, I think is a really interesting and exciting approach that we’re taking.

Artist submissions are due December 1st. From there, the proposals will be reviewed by a committee and an artist or artists will be chosen. The mural itself will be approximately 450 feet long.

“Ideally, we’d like to have a more collaborative team or approach,” she said. “We can’t wait to see what people submit. We’ve already had a few responses, so I think it’s going to be a great pool of applications.

Themes include Mississippi culture, community, and nature.

According to the heart foundation’s website, the 1.4-mile trail opened in early 2021 as Jackson’s first “paved scenic trail that connects downtown to LeFleur’s Bluff State Park.”

It follows the abandoned GM&O rail line from the downtown corridor through Belhaven Heights and Belhaven, then along the eastern border of LeFleur’s Bluff. It is connected to several museums, as well as the Mississippi Farmers Market.

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