There's a Mural Going Up on the Side of the Fireproof Storage Building

What looks like an ambitious graffiti project on the western side of the Fireproof Storage building just outside the Old City is actually the start of a giant mural. Zach Wyndgren, a 22-year-old University of Tennessee painting student who was commissioned for the mural by the building management, says he isn’t sure exactly what the final image will look like, but it will definitely be a striking addition to the landscape, visible from both Interstate 40 and Hall of Fame Drive and several high points around downtown.

“I have multiple ideas of what it could look like when I’m done,” Wyndgren says. “I’m going at it more as a painting than as a mural. I want to make it so it’s in touch with its surroundings and let it grow from there.”

So far, after a few weeks of work, the mural is a collection of colorful squiggles and lines, which Wyndgren says he’ll build on as the project continues. He says he and the management of the building are pursuing the possibility of sponsorship to help pay for the mural, and that he anticipates working on it for at least six months, and maybe as long as a year.

One purpose of the mural is to deter graffiti artists, and another to highlight the A1 LabArts Pegboard Gallery inside the building. Wyndgren has an even more general, but bigger, aim. “We want to draw attention to the art space, but I also want to bring something new and fresh to the city,” he says.

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Comments » 2

KnoxvilleUrbanGuy writes:

This sounds like a nice addition to the Old City area. I love urban murals and it sounds like this one should be great. I understand the concern about graffiti, but this comes close on the heels of the loss of the Graffiti Wall (see story at http://stuckinsideofknoxville.blogspo...) on Wall Avenue and I do wish there was a place that street artists could display their work. I write about life in the city and I will try to get some pictures of this mural and follow it as it develops. If you are interested in watching for that or reading about life in the city, you might check out http://www.stuckinsideofknoxville.blo....

ZWUGLY writes:

I know it is in the interest of the warehouse to do something about Graffiti in Knoxville. At least they are battling the issue, if it is a issue, in a positive way. Imagine a city where there is legal walls, and a outlet for artistic souls. A added touch of culture brings more life to the city right.
The skateboarding issue in the city was dealt with negative energy for years. The only thing that helped that issue at all was for the city to embrace it and build a skatepark. Now there is a outlet for the kids and adults that love to do it. While also bringing in people from all around the country just to visit Knoxville for that very park itself.
I say lets do another thing right. Instead of painting ugly gray squares over graffiti, embrace some artistry to create a Knoxville renaissance. Letting the city become a progressive cultural center for right now. We have so much history, why not keep adding to it in a positive way instead of a negative.

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