Paint Memphis is a one-day festival on October 1 that will bring over 70 artists together to paint the flood wall adjacent to the proposed Chelsea Greenline. The wall starts at the Chelsea trailhead, at N. Evergreen and Chelsea and goes west for .3 miles, making it the biggest collaborative mural in Memphis. Though a one-day event, we will expand this wall into a permission wall, legal and sanctioned by the city, a place where artists can show of their talents and reflect the spirit of our city.
As a 501(c)3 organization, we have a board of nine members, who will coordinate publicity as well as organize events before, and on the day of the event. Clean Memphis will do a monthly sweep for trash. City Beautiful will do a clean up after the event. Paint Memphis will patrol for offensive work throughout the year.
We received permission from the Corps of Engineers and the City of Memphis to paint this flood wall. Then we received the support of the Greater Memphis Greenline and other local organizations. We formed a board of nine members and applied for our 501(c)3 status. We have established a list of local and regional painters for the event as well as guidelines for painting: no obscenities, no gang-related imagery, and the theme of “Revival” for this project. We will prime the wall before the event, making it more economical and accessible for the artists. We hope, through this project, to pay not only for event insurance, maintenance of the area/wall, and enough paint for each artist to complete his/her piece. We will assign each painter a number (the walls are already numbered). The HUD Neighborhood Park Association will have the grassy area next to the wall mowed.
We will have a community meeting in the summer in order to involve the North Midtown neighborhood in this project.
The next part of this project will be to raise some funds, either in the form of sponsorship for materials (primer paint, rollers, a generator, paint sprayer, etc.) or actual money in order to pay for the permit, portable toilets, garbage cans, and other supplies not covered in donations. We are also looking for for volunteers for the day of, or before the event to prepare the wall.
Finally, there will be a monthly sweep after the event to make sure that the area is clean, maintained, and the art is preserved.
why we’re doing it
The North Midtown community is neighborhood that is neglected both in terms of funding, media and government attention, businesses, and education. With this last section of the greenline, which will be completed by 2017, there will be a bicycle route going from downtown Memphis past Shelby Farms. This greenline will help to change this neighborhood, bring more traffic and attention to this community. Likewise, public art, already has and will continue to attract locals and visitors to this area, which, in turn, reduces crime and raises pride in residents. In addition, we hope this wall will be an example to the city that legal, permission walls can enhance our city’s public art and showcase the talent that we have here.