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.