Hattiesburg, Mississippi – In 1912, The Henry L. Doherty Company, a leader in Hattiesburg industry at the time, promised that if the Commercial Club of Hattiesburg would select a slogan and design a sign for its display that it would manufacture, erect and maintain – without any cost to the city – a sign 42-feet in diameter with 1,142 lights, rising 50-feet above the Ross Building (now the American Building) and 140-feet from the sidewalk.
The Commercial Club fulfilled their promise – selecting R. R. Swittenburg’s entry of “The Hub City” as the winner. And quickly following, the Henry L. Doherty Company also fulfilled their own promise. On Thanksgiving in 1912, they presented what we now know as the Hub Sign – which served as a visual reminder that the City of Hattiesburg was indeed “The Hub.”
One hundred and six years later in 2018, Mayor Toby Barker ushered in 2019 by “dropping” a three-sided replica of the Hub Sign, outfitted with LED lights and suspended approximately 100 feet in the air from a Hattiesburg Fire Truck at Midnight on Front Street, the city’s inaugural New Year’s Eve Celebration.
In 2019, the tradition of an Official Event Poster was established through a contest among local artists. In 2019, Glenda Grubbs took home the honor with her painting “Happy New Year Hub City.” Now with 2021’s event on the calendar – it’s time to search for this year’s poster and artist to continue honoring the Hub Sign’s rich history (which began with an idea and a contest).
“This is a great opportunity to engage the incredible talent we have in our city, creatively connecting it to both the 1900s and the 2020s,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “Glenda Grubbs’ portrayal of the event in 2019 was an incredible launch of this contest for Midnight on Front Street and I look forward to seeing the entries that will help us usher in 2022.”
The call for artists will run through November 29, with the announcement of the artist and the poster during the week of December 6.
- The contest is open to residents of the City of Hattiesburg.
- There is no age limitation.
- One entry per entrant.
Theme & Prompt
From then to now. Artists can submit a work of art around their interpretation of the 1912 Hub Sign Illumination event, the 2018 Inaugural Hub Sign Drop – or a rendering of both. For a full back story and photos from both events – visit www.hburgnye.com.
The deadline for all entries is Monday, Nov. 29. For details about submitting, participants can visit http://bit.ly/hburgnyecall.
(these photos are from the 2019 poster reveal)