Street art brings color to Erwin's Nolichucky Avenue

Sue Guinn Legg • Jun 14, 2019 at 11:32 PM

ERWIN — In between this week’s rain showers, a patch of vibrant color bloomed out on the asphalt of a once-drab side street in downtown Erwin.

With $2,500 in grant funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the town of Erwin recently commissioned a large piece of street art on Nolichucky Avenue.

Unicoi County High School art teacher Annette Tipton designed the piece, mixing geometric shapes with bands of warm and cool colors and black-and-white patterns for contrast.

Tipton, her husband and daughter laid the pattern out on the half-block section of Nolichucky that runs from Union Street to the Skate Park; the painting began on Tuesday.

By Thursday afternoon, nearly three dozen volunteers had taken a turn at applying the color, and Tipton and company were back at it on Friday, with hopes of wrapping the project this weekend.

Erwin Communication Specialist Jamie Rice said the public art grant was originally intended for a mural on the wall of the Keesecker’s building facing the newly refurbished Gathering Place Park.

After having several artist look at the wall, Rice said, it was determined the wall’s construction was not conducive to paint, and the street art project was conceived to brighten up a historic downtown street that had not had a lot of attention.

Rice said Tipton, who has been influential in all the town’s public art projects, was eager to help and deserves all the credit for the colorful new look on Nolichucky.

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