Meet Roxie and Mary Alice, the two newest residents of Hattiesburg’s Pocket Alley.
Roxie, an aspiring musician in an all-female heavy-metal band, came to Hattiesburg last Spring by way of New Orleans as a groupie of Matt Maeson, who played at the Saenger Theater as a headliner for FestivalSouth. There Roxie found like-minded musicians and her band, Gator Bait, was formed. Roxie is committed to her music and can be heard at all hours refining her talents – though the authorities have been contacted several times by a certain neighbor who claims the music sounds like “two cats fighting in a burlap sack”!
Mary Alice is a budding fashion designer, hailing from Paris (not that Paris) – Paris, Tennessee. She stumbled upon the thriving arts community in Hattiesburg and was immediately drawn to the Pocket Alley where she draws inspiration for her designs from the curious passersby who are always looking for a bit of wonderment and intrigue as they traverse the alley.
While Mary Alice and Roxie are both artistically inclined, they are quite different in their approach to life. Mary Alice likes to start her day sitting in her balcony window sipping on a cup of hot tea and listening to the conversations of those passing down below as they head to work or grab breakfast and coffee from South Bound Bagel. Roxie on the other hand rolls right out of bed, plugs her electric guitar into her amplifier and starts banging out tunes.
Mary Alice finds Roxie’s music (if you can call it that) excruciating because #1. It is heavy metal and #2. Roxie plays much louder than she thinks. Mary Alice is finding herself more and more shaken with each passing chord that Roxie hits. She is now having to make her hot tea a little stronger by adding some Tennessee libations to her cup in order to calm her nerves so that she can cut the trim pieces on her fashions. Lately, Mary Alice has been thinking of introducing her pinking shears to Roxy’s amplifier cable!
Colbey Sparkman and Aubri Sparkman are the artists behind Mary Alice and Roxie. The 3-D heads for each character were curated by Rick and Vicki Taylor, the masterminds behind the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum. “We had always envisioned that we would have the doors on the fire escape painted to look like a balcony in a high-rise apartment complex, and when we found the ‘heads’ we knew the style we wanted to go with,” said Rick Taylor. “We chose Colbey and Aubri because of their artistic styles and the work they have done around town and on the utility boxes in the Pocket Alley.” Colbey and Aubrey were given the ‘heads’ to waterproof and to come up with the personality, backstory and look of the two characters.
Aubri created and named Roxie and Colbey created and named Mary Alice. “We wanted the bodies to match the heads and look realistic, and we are very happy with the outcome,” said Taylor. “We know guests to the Alley will love these new art pieces, and will enjoy the daring nature of the location and conceptual realism it brings to the overall vision we have been able to create in the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum.”