I am dreaming of …a mural in downtown Sevierville.

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I am dreaming of a… mural in downtown Sevierville!

Murals and public art are a great asset to any town or city. DB Photography, some friends and I did a photo shoot a few months ago called “The 10 Most Instagrammable Spots in Downtown Sevierville” and we talked about the popularity of murals in pictures for social media. Here is a link to that story if you missed it:


Why would a mural be good for our town? Here are some reasons. 

  1. Large scale art like murals give a special vitality to a downtown area. 

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This is the “What Lifts You” mural by Kelsey Montague in the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville. It incorporates drawings in the wings that are uniquely Nashville and country music. (Can you find the guitars and cowboy hats in the picture.)

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This is the line of people waiting to take a picture with the mural. A phenomenon about this piece of art? Every single person looks good in their picture. Check Instagram and do a search with “What Lifts You” to see what I mean. It is special. There are lot of restaurants in this area so it draws a crowd and helps boost their economy.

2. Large scale public art is accessible to anyone. You do not have to go into a museum or building to access it. You can just walk up to it on the street. DB Photography owner, Danyelle Bledsoe, states that we can enjoy the art as just a simple passer by.

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3.  The appeal is multi-generational. 

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4. Certain kinds of murals and large scale art add a ‘cool’ aspect to photos to post on social media. If you want to draw young people to your area then this will do it. The photo below has been a profile picture on Instagram.

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5. Foot traffic = a boost to the economy in that area. We had dinner at a local restaurant and then walked to this area after dinner to take pictures. It was our secondary destination.

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6.  Murals turn big walls into amazing canvases.



7. Murals and large scale art make wonderful backgrounds for family memories.  (Photo by DB Photography).


8.  Murals and large scale art bring attention to a building or structure. An ordinary parking garage suddenly becomes enchanting.

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9.  Murals and public art give photographers and models great backdrops for photos—which, in turn, gives more publicity to that spot in a city. This is a fabulous Senior picture for a local student taken in Knoxville because there are no places like this yet in Sevierville. (Photo by DB Photography).

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(Photo credit from Instagram.)

10. Murals and large scale art give important work to artists. Furthermore, they can  leave a positive, lasting impact on that area.





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(Photos by DB Photography).

11.  Murals add a special interest visually to an area. Danyelle Bledsoe of DB Photography says that large scale art and murals “lend to motion and movement. They offer a variety of focal points in an image.”

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(Photo by DB Photography).

The image above yields different results every time. It is an outstanding piece of public art.

12.  DB Photography owner, Danyelle Bledsoe, says that murals allow us to combine art forms of both paint and photography—all in one place. 

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(Photo by DB Photography.)

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13.  There is both beauty and power in public art. It gives special character to an ordinary wall. It makes you want to go there and spend time around there.

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14. Murals and public art can add atmosphere to celebrations. Happy graduation, Class of 2017. We had a party of 12 for this event so the restaurant benefitted greatly by having these murals easily accessible to our group and by us choosing to celebrate there.




(Photo from Instagram.)

15. Murals can be decorative, make a statement, or mark an important event. The mural above pays homage to the musical history of Knoxville. It can be found on South Gay Street. IMG_1086 2

I like the statement made by this artist and mural found in Greenwich Village, New York.

Where would be a good place for a mural in downtown Sevierville? 


While wandering downtown for the photo shoot, we came across the perfect place for a mural. It is the wall pictured in the first photo in this story. It is across the street from the drive- thru of the old Sevier County Bank location, just off of Court Avenue. We looked at this wall and thought it would be a perfect place for a mural or public art.

Advantages?  This wall is visible from the street, but not completely. There is a parking lot across the street and it is only yards away from the Dolly Parton Statue—the most popular place downtown. It is neutral color and a canvas just waiting for a large scale painting. There are three restaurants, two art studios, and two barbershops within a block of this location. They would all benefit from more foot traffic and visitors downtown.

Here is the picture again.

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What would a mural look like there?

With a little imagination, DB Photography gives us some fun ideas to begin with. IMG_3713

Would it look like this?


Or this?


Or this?

Or maybe something completely different. Mountains, native plants, wildlife, or something that captures the great spirit in this area. Whatever the focus, it would surely be decided by the city of Sevierville, with input by the Sevierville Commons Association and the Sevierville Commons Arts Council. But whatever the mural turned out to be, it would surely be special to this area.

With that being said…we are dreaming of a mural in downtown Sevierville! 

Art Happening Downtown Sevierville, October 19, 2016

It was a nice evening downtown Sevierville at the third Art Happening, presented by the Sevierville Commons Arts Council. There were quite a few new faces at this event at Dyers Downtown. Music, art, snacks, presentation of the featured artist, and talks by Y-12 Credit Union and a representative from the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center completed the fast paced evening.


Featured artist for October is Nelson Ziegler, a painter and artist who created the wood pieces featured at the top of this story. They were stunning! Ziegler is also an award winning watercolor and oil painter. He graduated from the Art Institute of Boston and Northwestern Academy of Watercolor. Below are some examples of his paintings.



Arts Council member, and recent Art Happening featured artist, Jill Greene, left. Nelson Ziegler, featured artist for October 2016, on the right. I must take photography classes from Jill some day!


Music performance by Stephen Goff and Tryphena Layman. See more of them at Harpoon Harry’s in Pigeon Forge. Look for Stephen Goff and the Royals. His contact info is SmokyMountainEventSource.com .  Below is a moment from their set.


Sevier Commons Arts Council President, Laurel Kiewitt, pictured left. Andrea Willson, also an Arts Council board member, pictured right.


Christina Crofoot, an artist and Outreach Co-ordinator for SCAC (Sevier Commons Arts Council).  Arts Council President, Laurel Kiewitt, addresses the group.


My friends, Sheley and Joey Rose of Sevierville, enjoying the evening.


Local artist and art-preneur, Chuck Ottolini, pictured left. Christina Crofoot, center. Jim McGill, Executive Director of the Sevierville Commons Association and Membership Co-ordinator of the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce.


We really enjoyed this duo and hope to hear more of them soon!


Keener Shanton, and his sister, Stephanie Shanton, supporting the Sevierville Commons Arts Council. These SCHS alumni have been keeping busy! Keener is Head Distiller at Old Forge Distillery in Pigeon Forge. Stephanie is a high school Biology teacher at Signal Mountain High School.


Chuck and Keener talking art.

Joy O’Shell, Outreach Director of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, talks with artists in a brief presentation. The Sevierville Commons Arts Council just received a grant from the center to provide opportunities for local artists. This is great news!


Brandon Cole and his mother, Crystal Lynn Sharp. She is Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Sevierville Commons Arts Council.


Rusty Curtis and Natalia Spratlen, representatives from Y-12 Federal Credit Union, gave information especially helpful to art-preneurs.


Refreshments from Courthouse Donuts! Sheley loved the chicken salad and will come back for lunch some day soon.




As I was leaving, I noticed attendees outside looking at the window art and conversing with the artist who created them, Crystal Sharp.

People were standing outside enjoying nice temperatures and fresh air while enjoying conversation and paintings. This is what a great downtown can be. It is happening now. Our downtown is ‘on its way’ and the Sevierville Commons is driving this revitalization. As the picture below shows, the Sevierville Commons Arts Council is also helping to lead the way.


The Sevierville Commons Arts Council will be planning the next Art Happening soon. Drop by if you get a chance. You don’t to be an artist, rather just enjoy art. An Art Happening is one of the best ways to get out and about in Sevierville.