In the little town of Wiggins just north of the gulf coast lies the remarkable murals of Stone County. We moved not far from this town 11 years ago, and not long after our arrival mosaic murals started arriving in Blaylock Park. Soon we started noticing them in the post office, welcome center, public schools, and MGCCC the community college. Each mural tells a story of the community they reside in telling the history of the people that have lived there and have been appropriately named Telling Trees Murals.
The tile mosaics are made and designed by Elizabeth Veglia and created in partnership with Sandra Cassibry, and the art students of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. My children have helped with two of the recent murals and enjoyed learning the history of their community and learning to work on a project in a group setting. One of the murals depicts the past, present, and future of Stone County. The longer you look at each mural the more you see flowers, a small bird, a raccoon, farmers in the fields, etc. One of the murals has parts of coffee mugs that were made using clay that was taken from Red Creek, a creek that flows through Stone County. The unique aspect of these mugs adds something to the murals to those who know the story behind them and where the clay came from to make them.
As I watched the murals taking place over the weeks the students worked on them I developed another layer of respect for the community that surrounds me. Each year I live in Mississippi I have taken in new information, a new fact, a new detailed history I didn’t know before and have come to respect the state I live in more. Telling the story of our communities is important, and telling our past builds our future as individuals and as a community.