KNOXVILLE —The University of Tennessee System is painting every corner of the state—west, middle and east—and the goal is to remind travelers in all 95 Tennessee counties of the impact of UT’s statewide presence.
Beginning this week, the “Everywhere You Look, UT” mural campaign kicks off in Giles County, with the painting of Giles County Furniture, located in the heart of Pulaski. Following completion of the Giles County mural, painting is slated to begin in Lincoln County, on the Market on Main building in bustling downtown Fayetteville. The new murals bring the total to 14 across the state.
Since the campaign’s launch in 2018, 12 murals have been completed in Shelby, Weakley, Knox, Greene, Sullivan, Meigs, Houston, Roane, Trousdale, Gibson, Grainger and Sumner counties.
The two new murals will bring a focus on the importance of creating increased higher education opportunities in lower-middle Tennessee— a goal the UT System has been working toward much of the past year.
The 13th mural will be in Pulaski, located in Giles County, which is home to Martin Methodist College, which, pending necessary approvals, will become the fourth undergraduate campus in the UT System, effective July 1, 2021.
Connie and Phil Carpenter are excited for the hope this bright orange reminder on their family-owned furniture store will bring to Pulaski residents.
“It’s a privilege to be part of the 95-county mural campaign and to showcase our support for an institution that’s given so much to our family,” said Connie Carpenter.
“Everyone who passes by the mural will know there’s hope of earning a UT degree right here in Pulaski,” said Courtney Childers, daughter of Connie Carpenter and UT Knoxville College of Communication and Information faculty member.
Following the completion of the 30-foot mural in Pulaski, the UT mural campaign travels just 30 miles east to plant roots in Fayetteville.
Chanse and Catherine Bartlett, Fayetteville natives, 2010 and 2012 UT Knoxville alumni and successful entrepreneurs, look forward to bringing the 14th mural in the campaign to the bustling downtown community they have dedicated their lives to preserving and enhancing.
“When we heard about the campaign, we didn’t even have to give volunteering our property a second thought,” said Catherine Bartlett. “It’s been a dream of mine to have a mural. We love to travel and explore different places, always stopping to admire downtown murals, so it means a lot to bring this to Fayetteville.”
“’Everywhere You Look, UT’ reminds me to never forget where I came from,” said Bartlett. “My husband and I will never forget our time at UT Knoxville, and it’s great to bring this reminder of UT here for everyone.”
The Bartletts are also working with the “Everywhere You Look, UT” mural artist, Troy Freeman of Freesky studios, to commission a “Greetings from Fayetteville” mural on the same building. The mural will highlight Fayetteville businesses, many of which have been in operation for more than 100 years.
When completed, the 30-foot Fayetteville mural will be seen by an estimated 8,500 passersby each day.
The murals in Giles and Lincoln counties will be dedicated on April 16 during invitation-only, COVID-friendly celebrations. Details on ways the community at-large can participate will be shared soon.
To learn more about the campaign, each location and to nominate a canvas for use, visit https://everywhere.tennessee.edu/murals/.