Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Paint Memphis to Create Largest Memphis Mural

Photo: Karen Golightly

One of the coolest things about the city of Memphis is the amazing art that has taken over the sides of some of our oldest and greatest buildings. Paint Memphis is a new grassroots organization and their first event will bring over 50 Memphis artists together to create the largest collaborative mural in town.

Karen Golightly, the event organizer, told us:

Paint Memphis is partnering with the Greater Memphis Greenline to paint what will soon (by 2017) be the Chelsea Greenline. This section of the greenline will connect the city from Downtown to Shelby Farms via bike lanes and greenlines. This particular neighborhood, New Chicago, has been fairly ignored in terms of development and socio-economic terms. Part of this project is to bring attention to the New Chicago/North Midtown neighborhood as a vital, rejuvenated area. The Chelsea greenline will help with this, but putting public art there will also contribute to lowering crime and raising awareness.

Paint Memphis Mural

Photo: Amanda Hill

The mural will have a “Revival” theme, and the mural wall runs .3 of a mile between North Evergreen and Chelsea. On the day of the event, Marco Pave will perform and food trucks will be available as well as a sticker swap of national graffiti writers. The Greater Memphis Greenline has been integral in getting permission from the city, and Montgomery Martin is also a sponsor. This project is about much more than one stretch of future greenline, though.

The other part of this project, which is my own personal focus, is to change the way that Memphis sees art. I’ve been working for years photographing graffiti and street art in order to try to get both graffiti writers and the general public to see how it is the most public form of art rather than blight. Giving these artists a palette, time, and materials can help them to find a safe and legal space to showcase their talent. The Urban Arts Commission is working with us to make this not only a one-day event, but to turn this, and several other walls in the city into legal, permission walls to exhibit our local talent and pride in the Bluff City.

Artists: Submit your work for consideration by emailing 5-10 photos of your walls to before June 15th. Painting will take place July 17-July 19, and will be open to the public on July 18th. Painters will be selected mid-June.

Want to volunteer? Email

Not a particularly gifted artist? You can help meet the project goal of $2,250 by clicking here.

  • When: Saturday, July 18 at 9:00 am
  • Where: North Evergreen Street at Chelsea Avenue

Check the event’s Facebook page for updates.

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