EPB dedicates second side of community murals on 10th Street Substation Wall
EPB dedicated eleven new community murals on the second side of its 10th Street Substation facing Foster Street on Thursday with a ceremony honoring the artists and community partners.
The 2022 mural theme is “Voices of MLK” to highlight the history, heritage and significance of Downtown Chattanooga’s Martin Luther King Boulevard area. An outside group of community stakeholders used an anonymized judging process to select the following twelve artists that live or work in the EPB service territory based on their submission’s artistic value, community reflection and relevance to the theme.
- Laura Dahlke – The Good Guys
- Karen Estes – Voices of MLK: Fannie May Crumsey, Opal Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Viola (Ellison) Johnson & Lela Mae Evans
- Jerome Foster – Fostering a Colorful Moment in Time
- Ann Jackson & Mimi McAllister – All Created Equal
- Madison Myers – Sandy the Flower Man
- Dannita Noble – MLK Paved the Way
- La-Tesia Poole – Mahogany Songbird
- Rea Shaw – I Heart Chattanooga
- Nathaniel Stepney – Remembering Booker T. Scruggs
- Ty Swint – MLK: The Voice of Love, Peace, Justice & Equality
- Sara Tolbert – Empress of the Blues
Several of this year’s artists focused their work on people, stories and themes related to Chattanooga history. Madison Myers, a second year muralist who graduated from UTC in May, painted a portrait of the late Sandy Bell, a local icon who was known by many as “The Flower Man.” Bell passed away in 2019.
“For years Sandy would ride his decorated bike around downtown Chattanooga handing out flowers and smiles to complete strangers,” said Myers. “Many people remember their encounters with Sandy at local restaurants and bars, either from flowers they bought from him or just conversations they had with him. I’m proud to memorialize him with this mural. He was a very upbeat and generous man.”
A number of community partners made this project possible including ArtsBuild, Association of Visual Arts (AVA), Bessie Smith Cultural Center, City of Chattanooga’s Public Art Chattanooga, Chattanooga Community Kitchen, MLK Neighborhood Association, RISE Chattanooga, River City Company, The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga and University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
“In its heyday, Chattanooga’s 9th Street, now Martin Luther King Boulevard, rivaled the likes of Memphis’ Beale Street and New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, producing many famous artists including the well-known Bessie Smith,” said James McKissic, President of ArtsBuild. “I’m proud that EPB is continuing to honor that history through this public art community mural project.”
For the second year in row, 100% of the selected submissions were from minority and/or women artists, including some who are first time muralists.
"Public art that inspires and highlights the vibrance and diversity of our city is a key driver of Chattanooga's quality of life," said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. "As we commemorate the Juneteenth holiday this Sunday, I'm privileged to join EPB in highlighting the talented artists who help bring our city to life through their work."
The 10th Street Community Mural art project is one of the many ways EPB celebrates diversity and inclusion in Chattanooga, with our employees and the people we serve.
“We’re proud to continue our support for the community by working with local artists to feature murals that reflect the spirit of this historic area,” said David Wade, EPB President & CEO.
This is the second year of a four-year project. EPB will take submissions to create a public mural on the third side of the substation wall in late 2022.