Manchester may predominantly be known as the home of Bonnaroo, an annual arts and music festival going strong for more than 20 years, but with the presence of such local institutions as Foothills Crafts and Manchester Arts Center, the city’s art is a 365-day event. And you can experience the area’s public art scene for free with the growing number of murals in town. Heading to Middle Tennessee soon? Enjoy a journey through public art via these murals in Manchester.
"The American Flag" by Tara Aversa
DMA-events, a Coffee County-based nonprofit dedicated to creating public art pieces in rural Tennessee, has painted the town of Manchester red and white and many other colors over the years. Near Manchester's downtown historic district, the public art group’s first mural, designed by Nashville-based muralist Tara Aversa in 2018, draws attention to the side of the Wheeler Construction & Restoration building and the entrance to the downtown square. The giant American flag depicts a magnolia flower superimposed on the red and white stripes.
“The Manchester Postcard” by Mobe
Welcome to Manchester! the classic postcard-style mural greets, with motifs of silos, a barn and the Tennessee state flag woven into the letters of the town name. These features represent Manchester's core identity as a historically agrarian community within the Volunteer State, which Nashville muralist Mobe worked into his original design. The mural is located across the street from the Food Lion on Hillsboro Boulevard.
"You Are Not Alone” by Sarah Painter and Cosby Hayes
Located on the side of Foothills Crafts, “You Are Not Alone” features the face of Channing Smith, a local high school student who was the victim of cyberbullying. Florida muralist duo Sarah Painter and Cosby Hayes surrounded his image in outreached hands lifting him up. After Smith's passing, many community members rallied around his story, and now the mural, featuring the phone number of the national suicide hotline, is a visual reminder that help is always available.
"American Eel" by Ivan Roque
Under a bridge that straddles the Little Duck River, mural hunters will unearth the triptych of an eel painted in vibrant pink and purple hues just above the waterline. The brainchild of Miami-based muralist Ivan Roque, the eel spotlights an endangered species native to the east coast and is a celebration of the underwater life within the river. “American Eel” is located on the Little Duck River Greenway at Fred Deadman Park.
"The Good of the Hive" by Matt Willey
To pollinate minds with awareness for the importance of the Apis genus, activist Matthew Willey is on a journey to paint 50,000 bees to represent the number needed for a healthy hive—and he’s currently a quarter of the way there. His work in Manchester was his 23rd installment in his Good of the Hive series and his first in Tennessee. The mural, which was supported by the Tennessee Arts Commission, is located at the intersection of the Little Duck River Greenway and Dave King Park.
"Black-Eyed Susan" by Lance Turner
A mural painted by artist Lance Turner on the Little Duck River Greenway depicts the native Black-Eyed Susan, a yellow flowering plant, intermingled with magnolia leaves. This three-panel mural, also a part of a Tennessee Arts Commission grant and located under a bridge on the river, is just past the Manchester Recreation Center and Rotary Park Amphitheater on the greenway.