A new mural can be found in downtown Sevierville at the corner of Court Avenue and Joy Street on the side of the old Pines Theater building. The mural depicts famous country music artists who once played at the old theater, including a young Dolly Parton. I was lucky to catch the mural artist in the last stages of his work.
I always like to watch an artist put their signature on a finished mural.
Public art creates a vitality within a community. This mural will make visitors wonder why these country music legends are featured on a wall in downtown Sevierville. Visitors and locals alike will enjoy learning about the history of the Pines Theater and the artists who once played music within those walls. Seth Bishop and the building developer, Austin Williams, have brought that history back to our attention with this mural of country music legends at the Pines Theater.
Certainly, we are excited to see a fourth mural in our town!
The second mural in downtown Sevierville seemed to pop up quickly and quietly in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic. Finally, I am finally writing about this interesting piece of public art downtown. Here is a look at the second mural in downtown Sevierville: Red’s Cafe.
According to local historian, Carroll McMahan, ‘Red’ Clevenger was named for his red hair. He grew up in Newport and worked for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) before buying the Rainbow Inn Restaurant on Chapman Highway. Later, he married, sold his business, was drafted into the army during WWII and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, receiving a Purple Heart. Clearly, Red Clevenger lived quite a life up to that time!
McMahan tells how Red returned home and built a cafe on Bruce Street in downtown Sevierville. Click the link and scroll down to # 3 to read more of Carroll McMahan’s stories about Red Clevenger, his kindness, generosity—and a keen sense of humor. It is so appropriate that this local citizen was memorialized on the second mural in downtown Sevierville. Here is a link to Carroll McMahan’s writing about Red Clevenger.
The Red’s Cafe mural in downtown Sevierville is facing the courtyard of the Appalachian Restaurant on Bruce Street. It is also located on the brick wall of Wanderlust Spa and Salon. This photo captures an interesting aspect of the mural, visible through the gazebo on Bruce Street.
Red’s Cafe depicts local businessman Paul “Red” Clevenger serving one of his famous hamburgers to a young child sitting at the counter. The child is Dolly Parton, who came to the cafe with her father and enjoyed Red’s special hamburgers during her youth.
Click this link from the Visit Sevierville Youtube webpage to hear Dolly tell the story herself.
In honor of this special place, Dolly added a Red’s Cafe eatery at her Dollywood theme park to memorialize one of her favorite places to eat in Sevierville. Everyone who has visited Dollywood since 1995 has strolled by Red’s Cafe in the Jukebox Junction area of the park. Naturally, the specialty at this Dollywood restaurant is hamburgers!
Visitors can read more information about Red Clevenger on the walls of Red’s Cafe in Dollywood. One story recounts the kindness of the cafe owner to families who would sometimes buy a hamburger and cut it in half for their younger children. In a generous move, Red would remark that the child looked “big enough to eat a whole burger by themselves” so he would throw an extra hamburger on the grill.
I was lucky to observe the artists in action on August 17, 2020. You can see the preliminary work and the ‘doodle grid’ that helps artists create murals on large areas.
The artists are from Asheville, North Carolina.
You can see more art from Smoky Mountain Mural Company on Instagram.
Here, the illustration of the young Dolly Parton begins to emerge on the mural. The artists usually begin a mural at night by projecting an image on the wall, but it did not work for this mural so they used a second technique called a ‘doodle grid.’ For that, the artists determined the area, designed a square grid by chalking out lines, drew the base prime image and circled them. The swirls and graffiti help to anchor the mural spaces visually, then the artists take another picture of the wall, use an overlay and mark the spacing of the subjects.
See the artists explain their process on the Visit Sevierville TikTok app page. Here is a link.
The Dollywood blog also has stories about Red and his cafe. You can see a picture of Red and his wife Lois in that article as well. Click the photo below to link to the Dollywood blog.
There are now three murals located on Bruce Street: two outdoor murals and one mural inside 10 Realty. Bruce Street is certainly an exciting place to explore art and more. See you out and about in Sevierville.
There is a third mural in downtown Sevierville—but you must enter a gallery to see it on an interior wall. Come into the welcoming office of 10 Realty at #118 Bruce Street to see this new mural. I was excited to see the third mural in downtown Sevierville called Sevierville Shuffle. Come take a look!
Created by local artist, Crystal Lynn Sharp, the mural presents a map of Sevier County with local iconography. Locals will know all of them!
Crystal chose the name Sevierville Shuffle because “we (and our visitors) all tend to shuffle through our area, almost rhythmically. Sometimes we jot from place to place or glide smoothly. We always have so many choices and, like sticking your hand in your pocket and not really knowing what we are going to get, we so often are surprised by something that we did not anticipate—then, we are doing the ‘Sevierville Shuffle.’ ” Thus, this is how the artist named the mural.
Here is the technique that Crystal Lynn used to begin the process of painting the mural on a 9′ X 24′ section of wall.
Post-It Notes with the names of places and things helped to plan spacing for imagery in the mural. Truly, I think that the first process in planning a mural is quite fascinating.
Crystal recalled how Randy Babel contacted her about creating a mural inside his business. “Randy had a passion for art and he knew that we needed a space to display artists’ work so he offered up his walls in 10 Realty. It all seems to be blossoming and I was glad to help.” Indeed, it is quite impressive!
The finished project looks perfect on that section of the wall. The Sevierville Shuffle mural will visually carry you from Exit 407 to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. It is delightful!
Here are links to Facebook pages for more details and upcoming events.
A new space has opened in downtown Sevierville that combines a real estate office with an art gallery. Located in the previous Crust and Crumb bakery location at 118 Bruce Street, 10 Realty offers local artists a place to display their work in a gallery enviroment. If you are in the downtown area from 9-5 during the week, you really need to walk in and see this unique space! Here is a quick view.
The focal point of the room is a beautiful mural of Sevier County with local icons, painted by local artist Crystal Lynn.
This is significant because it is the third mural painted in downtown Sevierville. I am working on a story about this mural soon as it deserves a story all its own.
The wall spaces in 10 Realty make a perfect display area.
Randy Bable, the owner of 10 Realty, had a vision for his office to sell real estate, to serve local artists, and to provide a community space.
The interior communicates an upscale, outdoorsy vibe. Make note: Randy Bable made the table that you see on the right. It is an amazing piece of furniture!
Every space is well used. Each frame seems to be perfectly placed!
Each piece of art is accompanied by a QR code with information about the artist and the work. Just open your phone camera and place it close to the QR symbol to open the information. ( Wouldn’t you like for someone to come to your home to hang your pictures with such perfect spacing?)
10 Realty offers art and work spaces. Follow their Facebook page to keep up to date on future activities. For example, there are going to be some painting classes very soon. Here is a link to the Facebook page.
Many have noticed beautiful public art and wondered when we could have the same in downtown Sevierville. Today is the day! The first mural in downtown Sevierville has been created by local artist, Pinkie Mistry.
Pinkie was chosen by the Sevierville Commons Association to create the first mural downtown at 111 E. Main Street on the back of a building owned by Sevier County Bank. I watched the process over several days and am happy to share pictures depicting the evolution of our new mural downtown. It is amazing!
I pulled out a lawn chair and joined Sofia to watch the beginning of the process as the sun set over the courthouse.
I dropped by on my way to work and found the wings taking shape with beautiful color. Pinkie sat high above the ground to reach the top of the butterfly.
Many of us are nervous on ladders and dealing with heights so this moment was interesting. It shows how the artist captured the finer touches of the work. I saw her balancing the paint bucket on the ladder in front of her and admired both her composure and balance.
The Finished Product!
The next morning, I stopped by on the way to work and found the finished mural ready to enjoy! This is how it will look as you drive into the parking lot from Bruce Street.