City seeking artists for downtown mural project

Matthew Lane • Feb 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Do you love to paint? Would you like to bring some more color to downtown Kingsport? Then look no further than a call for artists currently taking place within the Model City.

Kingsport’s Office of Cultural Arts is now accepting proposals to create an outdoor mural gallery along the walls of an alley that runs through the 100 block of Broad Street. The mural gallery will stretch from Shelby Street to Commerce Street and be located on the sides of multiple buildings.

The project is being funded through a $5,000 Creative Placemaking grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, along with additional contributions from the Downtown Kingsport Association and Engage Kingsport.

Hannah Powell, cultural arts program administrator for the city, said the project aims not only to improve the look of the downtown alleys, but also to highlight the talents of local artists.

“Knowing that Main Street is going to be under construction, the idea was to give pedestrians somewhere to walk and to make it more welcoming to them,” said Powell. “We’re going to light it up with some lighting and put some artwork back in there, and then that way people can enjoy the artwork and feel safe and welcoming when walking through the alleyway.”


If you’re interested in participating, all you need to do is come up with a design for a mural and submit it to the Office of Cultural Arts by March 9.

Artists should create a color sketch of their proposed design that shows something great about the Model City. Text is allowed in the design, so long as it’s relevant, but be sure to include the proposed proportions. The size of your mural can be between 4 by 4 feet and 10 by 10 feet.

“I don’t have a number (for the murals we’ll use) at this point,” Powell said. “It depends on what we get. If we get smaller ones, we might get more of them in there.”

Submissions can be sent via computer or a physical copy to the Office of Cultural Arts in the Kingsport Renaissance Center (1200 E. Center St.).

Be sure to include contact information (name, phone number and email) with your submission. Late entries will not be accepted. All submitted materials will become the property of the city and will not be returned.

The Public Art Committee will select the winning designs based on their quality and relevance to Kingsport, and the mural will be completed between April 1 and May 1. Winning designs will be awarded $150 and paint will be provided.

For more information or if you have any questions, call (423) 392-8416 or visit www.arts.kingsporttn.gov.