WILSON CO., Tenn. (WKRN) – A new mural with a ‘coat of many colors’ stands on the Wilson County Fairgrounds celebrating Tennessee’s 225 years of statehood.
The 12 ft. by 8 ft. structure is an enriching feature to the historic inaugural Wilson County Fair-Tennessee State Fair.
The project was spearheaded by Kaitlyn Vail with Visit Wilco. “I wanted to make sure we went big and incorporated four of our paint wilco artists,” said Vail.
Those artists include Mallory Jennings, Becca Turner, Kim Gregg and Karlie Cunha. The ladies worked together to paint some of the states most well-known and not so well-known icons. News 2 spoke with Cunha and Gregg about the experience.
Cunha said, “What better way to represent it than with the whole state and things that we really celebrate?”
Gregg said, “I love history. I think its really important, and so, if I can give a nod to it with art, I think that’s something I’m really into. I’m excited to be a part of it. I also enjoyed being around the other artists.”
They both hope the different characters and items represent the Volunteer State well.
Cunha said, “We offer a lot of different things as a state between the food the people the sports.”
And capture the character of Tennesseans.
“People just instantly pitch in. I think they’re that way with just about everything that happens,” said Gregg.
“We work to lift each other up. We have seen time after time – we really just are truly volunteers coming to help out whenever we can. I think that’s special,” said Cunha.
Throughout the mural you’ll see tomatoes, Olympians, flowers and rubies – things they hope will peek the public’s curiosity.
Cunha’s favorite part was painting Tennessee’s cultivated state flower, the purple iris.
“I am a third-generation florist, so it was really important for me to paint the flower.”
Gregg’s favorite part to create was Dolly Parton.
“I love Dolly. I think she’s awesome, and I did Elvis. I got to do a lot of the personalities so I enjoyed that,” said Gregg.
Vail hopes when people come out to the fair, they’ll take a moment to view the mural and ask questions.
“We have come such a long way in 225 years to encourage people to learn. We want to encourage anybody to look up ‘hey why is there a lightning bug on here?’ Or ‘hey I didn’t know about these ducks.’ Why are these ducks over here?” explained Vail.
Next to the mural, you’ll see a poster with a QR code. Vail encourages everyone to take their phones out and open their camera over the sign. You will then be prompted with a link to learn more about the project and Visit Wilco.
The mural’s official unveiling will take place at the Wilson County Fairgrounds behind the Expo Center Friday, August 13, at 7:00 p.m.
Wilson County Fair-Tennessee State Fair kicked off August 12th and will wrap up August 21st.