Hattiesburg, Mississippi – To honor both the rich history of the iconic Hub Sign and the present through the sign’s presence at Midnight on Front Street, Hattiesburg’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, city officials are seeking an artist for the event’s annual promotional poster.
In 2019, a tradition was established through a contest among local artists to design a poster that helps promote the event. In 2019, Glenda Grubbs took home the honor with her painting “Happy New Year Hub City.” In 2021, Gretchen McClure became our youngest artist with her digital illustrator, “New Year’s in Hattiesburg.”
The Hub Sign’s origins began 110 years ago in 1912 when the Henry L. Doherty Company promised that if the Commercial Club of Hattiesburg would select a slogan and design a sign for its display, it would manufacture, erect and maintain – without any cost to the city – a sign that would sit high above Front Street on the Ross Building (now known as the America Building).
The Commercial Club fulfilled their side of the deal – selecting R. R. Swittenburg’s entry of “The Hub City” as the winner. Quickly following, the Henry L. Doherty Company also fulfilled its own promise. On Thanksgiving in 1912, they presented what we now know as the Hub Sign – a visual reminder that the City of Hattiesburg was truly “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.
For the past five years (with a virtual event in 2020), the City has continued this event each New Year’s Eve – giving residents and visitors alike an opportunity to ring in the new year with live music, great food, fireworks and the iconic Hub Sign drop.
“Our annual New Year’s Eve celebration puts Hattiesburg on the map as a holiday destination, but we never want to lose sight of the story that lives within its origin,” said Samantha McCain, chief communications officer for the City of Hattiesburg. “This call to find an artist that will design a poster helps us continue telling the story of the Hub Sign, while also sharing the impact the New Year’s Eve event has on our community. It’s also a nice nod to continue this tradition of honoring the Hub Sign’s rich history, which also began with an idea and a contest.”
The call for artists will run through December 2, with the announcement of the artist and the poster during the week of December 5.
- 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 or a current Midnight on Front Street event. For a full back story and photos from both events – visit www.hburgnye.com.
The deadline for all entries is Friday, Dec. 2. For details about submitting, participants can visit https://hburgnye.com/call-for-artists/.