A unique new building mural is being proposed in downtown Gallatin.
The mural, designed by Nashville street artist Mobe, features eight individual silver helium balloons that spell Gallatin alphabetically with strings from each letter that come together so individuals can act as if they are holding them when they take a picture, according to Kim Baker, CEO of the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce.
If approved by city leaders, the artwork would be installed near city hall.
“We hope that the mural becomes a destination similar to other popular murals that we’ve seen in other cities,” Baker said about the chamber-funded project. “We know that folks travel to get a photo with those murals and we wanted this to be an iconic one for Gallatin.
“It will be in a visible place, but it’s not highly visible and that’s intentional. We wanted people to get out and explore our city and find the mural or just stumble upon it.”
All mural applications have to be reviewed by the Gallatin Arts Council before they are referred to the Gallatin City Council for approval. Any mural proposed in an area with a historic overlay, like downtown, must also be reviewed by the city’s historic district commission.
Chamber officials had initially planned to have the mural display the city’s 37066 zip code, but later decided that the numbers would not be as meaningful to tourists visiting the area as the name of the city, according to Baker.
“We chose the balloons because they are whimsical, inviting and capture the fun spirit that exists in Gallatin,” Baker added. “The design is also easy to photograph with a phone making it simple to frame for social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.”
If approved, chamber officials hope to have the artwork installed later this summer.
Earlier this year, two murals were added on West Franklin Street in downtown as part of a city project that was funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. One of the murals focuses on Gallatin’s history of train and trolley transportation while the other highlights the 1970 championship basketball game between Union and Gallatin High schools and the players who helped unite a segregated city.
The installations came less than two years after Tennessee’s first professional skateboarder and former Sumner County native Ray Underhill was honored by the city with a mural at Thompson Park in late 2017.
“We hope that this is the first of many meaningful pieces of art that we see around town whether it be permanent or temporary instillations,” Baker said about the proposed chamber project. “Community art matters, it makes a big difference and it creates a stronger sense of place for all.”