The Daily Pulse:

Calling All Muralists

Anyone who's visited the hippest cities lately might gather that Knoxville suffers a significant mural deficit. Murals can go a long way in sprucing up a neglected corner of town.

An East Knoxville neighborhood--Parkridge, specifically, is leading this charge--means to do its part by making an interstate underpass, the one at 6th Avenue near Washington and Glenwood Avenues, more interesting.

Calvin Chapelle, director of the east-side landmark known as the Mabry-Hazen House, says the neighborhood had gotten a small grant from the city to paint a mural on columns beneath the 6th Ave. underpass, which is described as "an ugly, unfriendly, and littered place that attracts graffiti and illegal trash dumping."

The cash prize for best design is $1,000. They're calling for proposals from the public at large, regardless of experience in art; the main criteria is that it should reflect on the neighborhood's history in some way.

That leaves a lot of leeway, because the neighborhood has been nearly everything. Baseball, textile mills, floods, fairgrounds, tamale factories, electric streetcars, bootleggers, lumber yards, jazz singers, slaughterhouses, Victorian houses, name something and chances are it has East Knoxville associations. They do recommend you do some research.

They also suggest you have a look at the spot. The canvas in question is comprised of four concrete columns, 22 feet tall, about 12 feet wide. Submissions should be made on a 36-inch by 24-inch format on canvas, paper, or art board.

The deadline is Feb. 15. Some juries will look at the entries, the public will vote, and if all goes well, the mural will be installed in April and May of this year.

The execution of the mural would be a community project: the winning artist is encouraged, but not necessarily required, to participate.

For more, see the Community Design Center's website, at www.communitydc.org/

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