Bringing Art To The Neighborhoods in Memphis

1665 The Mound1667 Golden Wildcats1669 Community Pride1671 Melrose Friends1673 Dreams Matter We Matter1675 Beltline1677 Run It Back1679 Binghampton1681 D-Up Who's Got Next1682 Dream Big Work Hard1683 On These Courts1685 Herion Young1687 Revival1689 Evergreen Wall1691 Rex21693 Metal Fingers Krew1695 King Tut1697 Evergreen1699 Evergreen Wall
This has been a relatively rough year for Memphis, and yet one of the more uplifting things I have noticed has been the spreading of neighborhood-based outdoor artworks and murals. While this has been going on for several years, it has virtually exploded this summer. I was not pleased with the demolition of the historic W. C. Handy Theatre in Orange Mound, but it did cheer me to see the orange-and-white public art on the bricks that remain from the foundation at the site. The slogans emphasize pride in the Orange Mound community and its high school, Melrose. A brightly-colored mural a few blocks away carries a timely message: “Dreams Matter, We Matter”. Just north of the railroad tracks, the historic Beltline neighborhood is celebrated in a building-length mural on the wall of a grocery store. In Binghampton, the artwork near the basketball courts celebrates the game of basketball, for which The Hamp is known, being the neighborhood of Anfernee Hardaway. But perhaps the most striking effort was the long series of murals on the inside flood wall along Chelsea between McLean and Evergreen in the Evergreen neighborhood. The different panels celebrate many different aspects of hip-hop culture or Memphis culture, with the word “REVIVAL” prominently featured in the first one. It is an appropriate slogan for a city that is long overdue for renewal.