Knoxville – The University of Tennessee is on a mission to paint a mural in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties, reminding travelers from Memphis to Mountain City of UT’s statewide presence and impact.
Beginning this week, the “Everywhere You Look, UT” campaign will add seven new murals during its fall trek across the state, bringing the total to 12 counties and increasing the campaign’s estimated reach to more than 42 million passersby a year.
Since the campaign’s launch in 2018, five murals have been completed in Shelby, Weakley, Knox, Greene and Sullivan counties. The new locations will add Gibson, Houston, Sumner, Trousdale, Meigs, Roane and Grainger to the Tennessee counties with murals.
“These new murals serve as great reminders of the far-reaching impact UT has on our great state,” UT President Randy Boyd said. “From west to east, UT really is everywhere you look.”
This fall, the UT System is painting the state starting Sept. 8 in Gibson County and ending Nov. 17 in Grainger County, weather permitting. From historic downtown buildings to decades-old barns, each property owner demonstrates UT’s impact on economic development, agriculture and more.
Humboldt, located in Gibson County, kicks off the fall lineup after having its original painting schedule postponed due to COVID-19. The mural, on Main Street, will be on the side of Flippin Law Group’s office building, a canvas volunteered by UT Knoxville alumnus, Floyd Flippin and his wife, Guinda, a graduate of the UT Health Science Center College of Nursing. The mural will be visible to an estimated 1.2 million travelers each year.
Erin, located in Houston County, is the second stop on the painting route. The mural, located on the side of Archie’s TV and Appliance Repair, will reach an estimated 3.4 million travelers a year. Archie Brooks decided to participate in the campaign after his daughter, a UT Knoxville alumna, shared it with him.
Portland, located in Sumner County, provides the third campaign stop with a canvas on the side of a grain bin on Crafton Farms, visible from State Route 52. The mural, which will reach 3.25 million travelers a year, was volunteered for the campaign by the Crafton family, which has connections to UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, the UT Health Science Center and UT Extension.
Hartsville, in Trousdale County, will be home to the fourth mural in the fall push, with the painting of Jackie and Timothy Gregory’s storage barn. An estimated 2.3 million travelers will pass this mural each year. Timothy Gregory graduated from UT Knoxville in 1977.
The fifth mural brings the campaign to Decatur, in Meigs County, and will reach an estimated 1.8 million travelers a year. The mural will be painted on the side of the historic Rockholt Building and Meigs Theatre, and was volunteered by UT Chattanooga alumnus, George Thomas.
Chase Drugs and Clinical Services, a century-old, independently owned pharmacy in Harriman, located in Roane County, will be the sixth mural site in the fall campaign and will be seen by an estimated 4.8 million travelers a year. This canvas is offered by Michael Hardin and his wife, MaeAnn, a UT Knoxville alumna. The mural was originally slated for completion in April 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19.
The Red Barn Produce in Rutledge– a staple in Grainger County agriculture, finishes the fall schedule. When completed, it will be visible to an estimated 2.2 million travelers a year. This canvas was offered by owners, Jake and Lara Sawyer after their longtime friend and UT Knoxville alumnus, Blake Hodge, shared the campaign with them.
These new fall murals total almost 19 million yearly impressions, adding to the estimated 23.7 million views garnered by previously painted murals. Troy Freeman, owner and lead artist of FreeSky Studios, will complete each mural.
To learn more about the campaign, each location and to nominate a canvas for use, visit https://everywhere.tennessee.edu/murals/.