COLUMBIA, TN, Nov. 11, 2021 — Columbia is the latest city to join the state-wide public art movement Walls for Women that gives women opportunities to paint original murals on large-scale walls across Tennessee. Tullahoma-based nonprofit DMA-events launched this project in 2020 in conjunction with the centenary of the 19th Amendment and Tennessee’s place as the 36th and final state to vote in favor of women. The Columbia mural, Lady Justice, was completed on Nov. 5.
“How exciting to see this beautiful mural Lady Justice completed. It’s so colorful and creates a bright spot in an otherwise unnoticed area,” stated Kellye Murphy, Tourism & Marketing Director for Visit Columbia. “We jumped at the opportunity to join the Walls for Women mural trail in Tennessee as we work to find more ways to bring greater attention to the arts.”
The Walls for Women trail now includes Tullahoma, McMinnville, Maryville, Knoxville, Centerville, Nashville, Nolensville, Sweetwater, Viola and Columbia. This project was sponsored by the City of Columbia and Sunbelt Rentals who provided the equipment.
“We are grateful for this partnership with the city of Columbia, in particular to tourism director Kellye Murphy who understood the power of this project from day one and worked tirelessly to find us a perfect wall to use as a canvas,” DMA-events president Kristin Luna said. “We’re also thankful that Patriot Rail trusted the vision and allowed us to paint on the rail line’s property, a very prominent wall along Carmack Boulevard.”
For this project, DMA-events tapped Nashville-based muralist Tara Aversa, who has painted other murals for the organization in the past. When tasked with coming up with a concept, she chose to honor the strong women in her life, starting with her late grandmother, and spent the better part of a week in late-October and early-November painting through rain, wind and extreme cold.
“Lady Justice is dedicated to the Maurillo sisters—my grandmother Constance and her sisters who came from a large Italian family and grew up in New York,” she explains. “Connie Aversa is the rose in the lower right corner, the big white daisy is for my Aunt Pearl, the peony for my Aunt Sue, the white flowers with golden centers are for Aunt Antoinette, and the sunflower is for my Aunt Carm, who passed away while I was painting this piece.
“When I started working on the design for this mural, I wanted to include symbolic flowers for different people in my life who have passed on, then it turned out in the middle of painting it, Carmella—the last living sister—died suddenly,” continues Aversa. “We’re a tightknit family with a bunch of strong, strong women, and I wanted to honor that bond and resilience in this piece.
About Tara Aversa
Tara Aversa has painted ever since she could hold a paint brush. She wasn’t classically trained, but rather watched her mother when she painted. In her early years, Tara mainly painted architecture and landscapes in nature; since then, her work has evolved over time and now has a much wider range of artistic ability and style.
Her work tends to be bold and very vibrant in color, but she also loves painting simple line work for a timeless look. With more than 50 murals painted in four short years, she has continued to keep her passion alive by exploring new ways to give life to blank walls all over the South. Tara created DMA’s first ever mural, the iconic American flag magnolia, as well as Bertha the octopus in Tullahoma.
About DMA-events, Inc.
Kristin Luna and Scott van Velsor started 501(c)(3) DMA-events in 2018 as a way to harness and inspire the imaginative spirit found in all of humanity by removing some of the barriers to entry of the creative process. Walls for Women, which will continue adding new member cities, focuses exclusively on capturing female creative energy for artistic placemaking in communities in need of joy, hope and color through original art.
In April, DMA-event was awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution’s state public relations and media award for commitment to historic preservation, education and patriotism consistent with the DAR mission. Filmmaker Colin Shuran also made a documentary about the program titled Walls for Women that has been accepted at festivals like the Toronto Independent Film Festival.
For more information, interviews and images, please contact DMA-events President Kristin Luna at email@example.com or 931-808-9165.