Work has begun on Fayetteville’s first city mural, a mural that will depict the town’s businesses from the past and ultimately come together to form a screen along the back side of the city’s western side of the square.

The project is being funded by way of a $6,100 Tennessee Arts Commission creative placemaking grant, awarded to and matched by the City of Fayetteville recently.

“This grant provides an opportunity to bring art to a much-needed location to give the area greater aesthetic appeal,” said Melanie Laten, a local artist who spearheaded the project and pursued the grant funding.

Laten had shared her vision with the Fayetteville Board of Mayor and Aldermen back in February just before applying for the grant through the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Arts Center.

Ultimately, 12 panels are expected to be painted and installed on a large billboard-sized structure at the back of the buildings on the west side of the square. The series, depicting businesses located there nearly a hundred years ago, will celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of downtown Fayetteville. The work is being done in a pointillism style, a technique of painting in which relative small, distinct dots are applied in patterns to form an image.

Working with Laten are artists Sophie Buck, Chayton Stephens and Sarah Hammell, project leaders, and other artists are welcome to join the effort.

“I think there’s an opportunity to turn this little section of town into almost a municipal park, with park benches and in-ground solar lighting to up-light the mural,” Laten had said in February. “… We can actually enhance that section of town to the point where it actually is a delightful place for people to come and have a cup of coffee and sit … and have pictures made and that kind of thing.”

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