A Walls for Women mural honoring 100 years of women’s right to vote will be placed in the heart of Viola. The community’s first piece of public art will be placed in October.
Last year marked the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. To commemorate that event, a Tullahoma-based public art nonprofit DMA Events produced Walls for Women, a series of murals that employed female artists to paint large-scale murals across the state.
“We’re very excited to add Viola to our roster of Walls for Women cities,” said DMA president Kristin Luna. “We’re in love with this tiny town tucked away among many of our favorite state parks and can’t wait to bring Viola its first piece of public art.”
McMinnville joined the Walls for Women series in 2020. That mural was placed on a brick wall at Security Federal Savings Bank on West Main Street. McMinnville Tourism Development Board members made that mural possible by providing $7,500.
Viola’s Pizza Company owners Sara and Brian Covert spearheaded a community fundraising campaign with a desire to add Viola to the series.
“Viola strikes a chord in the hearts of nearly everyone who passes through or resides in the area,” said Sara. “By adding our first piece of community funded art to Town Square, we hope to bring a greater sense of pride to our residents and to provide a little extra joy for our visitors.”
Viola’s mural will be placed on the west-facing wall of Viola’s Guest House on Town Square, which the Coverts also own. The building is more than a century old and originally served as the town’s local grocery store.
Oak Ridge-based artist Megan Lingerfelt has been selected as the artist.
“We’ve had our eye on Megan’s work for years now and are thrilled we finally have the chance to work with her,” said Luna. “She’s painted some of the largest, boldest and most iconic walls in Knoxville, and we visit them every time we’re passing through East Tennessee. We couldn’t be more excited for her to leave her mark on Viola now as well”
As with all the murals in the Walls for Women series, artists are allowed creative expression and draw upon the history of the community in creating a unique piece of art to commemorate the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Preparation work for the project is slated to start Oct. 3 with the mural installation immediately following.