Exploring East Tennessee's Creative Cultural Influence:The Murals

One of the most inspiring things about living in East Tennessee is a proliferation of creative and colorful murals in cities large and small throughout the region.
Written by
42nd Street
Published on
February 6, 2024

At Forty-Second Street, we are inspired by the uniquely creative culture of East Tennessee. Though we’re lucky to work for individuals and businesses across the state of Tennessee, and indeed across the United States, we love getting to call this Grand Division our home. (See what we did there? We’re learning a lot from the Tennessee Historical Society!) One of the most inspiring things about living in East Tennessee is a proliferation of creative and colorful murals in cities large and small throughout the region. From Knoxville to Sweetwater, keep reading to find a list of some of our favorites!

Image source: Greensboro News & Record

1. Dolly Parton - Knoxville, TN

We couldn’t have a list of our favorite East Tennessee murals without including this icon! The Dolly Parton mural in Downtown Knoxville’s Strong Alley (also known as Artist Alley) was completed in 2019 by Colton Valentine, a San Antonio, TX-based artist. The Dolly mural is a survivor too—in 2020, it was vandalized. However, it was repaired and enhanced by local artist Megan Lingerfelt. This mural is now a place we love to visit—when we’re not workin’ 9 to 5!

Image source: The Peaceful Side of the Smokies

2. Senderos - Maryville, TN

This mural is located right in our hometown! It took Miami-based muralist Nicole Salgar more than 100 hours to complete the Senderos mural in Maryville, TN. Part of the Walls for Women mural program that celebrated 100 years of Tennessee’s place in ratifying woman suffrage, this program supported the creation of original art throughout the state by an all-female team of professionals. The mural was sponsored by Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority.

Image source: Blonde Voyage Nashville

3. Greetings From Knoxville - Knoxville, TN

What does a Knoxville greeting sound like to you? The Greetings From Knoxville mural was created by Greetings Tour, a collection of artists that create murals in different cities across the country. This work was inspired by “a warm Springtime sunset with the lush greenery found in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” Vintage postcards are a major inspiration for us here at Forty-Second Street, so we always greet this mural warmly!

Image source: The City of Sweetwater

4. This Girl Can - Sweetwater, TN

Another mural that arose from the Walls for Women initiative, This Girl Can can be found at the corner of Oak and Morris streets in downtown Sweetwater. Nashville-based artist Kim Radford said she was inspired to create a pop-art rendition of Italian painter Botticelli’s goddess. Sweetwater was chosen as the location for this work of art because of its ties to the woman suffrage movement. Learn more here!

If you’re looking for writers, artists, and designers who are grounded in the traditions of this unique and creative region, look no further than Forty-Second Street, Inc. speak to a member of our experienced and qualified team today. Click here to schedule a 30-minute meeting with our Content Writer, Emma G. Thompson, and learn how to make your words work for you!

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