Public art has long been a part of the landscape in large cities, but recently, with studies showing the positive effect it has on communities, cities of all sizes are joining the movement.
Most murals are painted on the walls of vintage buildings in downtown areas, The Rutherford Arts Alliance, working with the City of Murfreesboro, and Vine Street Market, will be sponsoring a Mural Festival from October 18 through October 20.
The inaugural RAA Mural Festival will take place in the parking lot adjacent to 117 East Vine Street. Friday night, local artists, under the direction of artists Norris Hall and Ginny Togrye, will be drawing the outline of Hall’s design on the wall. On Saturday, Oct. 19, the public, age 16 and above, can join in the fun from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Mural artists from the Rutherford Arts Alliance will complete the mural from noon until 6 p.m. Sunday. Participants will receive a special T-shirt. Those under 16 can create their own mural in the kids area.
Many community volunteers and business owners, along with city government, have been working together for many months to make this event a reality. Hoover Paint, Farrar Brothers, and First Presbyterian Church are all event partners.
On Saturday, children attending the activities will be able to color their own version of the mural and take it home with them. As a matter of fact, much of the painting on Saturday will be by children and young adults, as it was a young artist who came up with the idea to paint the mural – Mira Patel.
Mira Patel and her mother, Tina, are chairing the event. A member of the Youth Council, Mira Patel brought the idea of public art murals in the downtown area to the attention of the RAA. This Central Magnet School junior wanted the community to help paint a mural to create an interest in public art. All they needed to get the project going was funding.
“Art has been always been an important part of my life,” said Mira Patel. “As I have grown older, I realized that I wanted to share my passion for art and the value it holds with others in my community. With the cities around me flourishing in public art, I thought that a mural would not only be fantastic representation of art in the community, but also a great way to connect the citizens of Murfreesboro. I am thrilled to see my dream of a public mural come true, and I hope that this is just the beginning….”
At about the same time, a group of local professional women who have been friends for 50 years, calling themselves Wild Cherry Group, were considering ways to honor one of their group - Susan Loyd - and long lasting, supportive female friendships. The Wild Cherries - including Wren Jones, Pam Kious, Rhea Seddon, Patty Marschel, Marilyn Newson, Bev Macsherry, and Andrea Loughry - wanted to change from giving each other Christmas gifts and parties. They decided to give a gift to the community instead. This mural is their gift.
The Rutherford ARTS Alliance ( https://www.rutherfordartsalliance.org/) is an independent, nonprofit advocacy group created to identify, unite and promote arts, culture, and heritage throughout Rutherford County, Tennessee. RAA partners with existing arts organizations, individuals, and other groups—representing government, education, business, wellness, and more.