Red’s Cafe: Second Mural in Downtown Sevierville

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.

The mural had been finished for 11 months by the time that I visited again on July 17, 2021 when I visited the downtown Sevierville Farmer’s market to do some shopping. A favorite, the Sevierville Cruze Farm store had a table set up with milk and ice cream. One of the Cruze Farm helpers was dressed in the unique Cruze Farm dress so I asked if I could take her picture in front of the mural and they kindly obliged. This cute young lady posed with cup of ice cream as if to to toast Dolly, Red Clevenger, and a favorite place to eat in downtown Sevierville decades earlier.
It was perfect.

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.

Third Mural in Downtown Sevierville: Sevierville Shuffle

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!

First, enter Realty 10 on Bruce Street. Randy Babel, the owner, encourages visitors to come inside to see the mural and other paintings, pottery, and carvings on display in his business. Babel incorporates a realtor’s lounge with an art gallery so the public can browse, shop, and enjoy.
As you enter 10 Realty, you will notice the mural on the right.

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.

In this photo, the body of the mural is falling into place. You can recognize local places and nature in the Smoky Mountains.
The owner of 10 Realty gave the artist free rein over the project. Crystal definitely kept the viewers in mind. We can gaze and guess, using our imaginations in regard to the icons. Look in the right corner in the picture above for one of the most important icons in our area. Well done!
Here is a photo that captures the Sevierville Shuffle mural as a work in progress.

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!

In a further description, Crystal told of painting “iconic places by using characters and representations of our well known spots as we meander down the parkway and local roads.” It is quite an enjoyable trip for the eyes.

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!

Randy Babel asked for Crystal’s help in finding artists willing to hang their work in the office. There is an abundance of beautiful paintings and more… and all are for sale. I took quite a while looking at everything. You need to to plan on 30 minutes or more to really take them all in.
Many thanks to artist Crystal Lynn for letting me use many of her photos which show the development of the mural from the beginning to the end. To see more photos of 10 Realty/ Gallery 10, check out my previous blog story.
Come to browse or even take an art class in the evening. It is definitely one of the best things now in downtown Sevierville.

Here are links to Facebook pages for more details and upcoming events.

https://www.facebook.com/10Realty/

https://gallery10art.com

Here is the Facebook link for the artist of the Sevierville Shuffle mural, Crystal Lynn Sharp. https://www.facebook.com/mountainwingsstudio

10 Realty / Gallery 10 Art Gallery in Downtown Sevierville

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.

https://www.facebook.com/10Realty/

Certainly, 10 Realty will be an asset in downtown Sevierville area with all it offers to the community. Indeed, it is good to have art and artists back on Bruce Street!

See you out and about!

First Mural in Downtown Sevierville: Wings of Wander

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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! 

Day 1

I pulled out a lawn chair and joined Sofia to watch the beginning of the process as the sun set over the courthouse. 

The mural shows a large set of butterfly wings with smaller butterflies floating away  to the left. That makes this butterfly mural extra special, in my opinion. The artist chose the monarch butterfly in particular because they are found in Tennessee during the yearly migration to Mexico. 
Next, Pinkie and her husband fixed scaffolding to allow her to reach the higher areas of the mural. I left before they added the second level of scaffolding. That would have made me nervous to be so high in the air!

Day 2

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.

Two sections of scaffolding reached the higher parts of the mural.
I saw this posted on a Facebook Live feed so I took a quick screenshot to capture this work in progress. Consequently, that is why you see the emojis in the bottom left corner.  
On my way home after work, I returned in time to see a WBIR reporter recording the story. I didn’t disturb them—just took a snap. 

Here is a link to the news story on WBIRTV. https://www.wbir.com/article/life/sevierville-artist-brightening-up-her-hometown-with-beautiful-butterfly-mural/51-69dcbbb4-8127-4d53-84d0-548a24d2417e

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. 

Here is the hashtag to find photos of the Wings of Wander mural on social media—and where to post your photos as well. #wingsofwander  In addition, it shows how to find info on this artist. Here is a link to Pinkie Mistry’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/DesignsByPinkieMistry/ 
and find her on Instagram at @pinkiemistryart. 
                                                            Beautiful!
                            Now, there is nothing left to do but enjoy it!
Wear black clothing and you almost seem to become the monarch butterfly!
This may be the best thing downtown and it is free! Come and enjoy Wings of Wander, the first mural in downtown Sevierville. Many thanks to Pinkie Mistry for her talent! It was worth the wait!