A new mural by local artists Alecia Vera Buckles and Briah Gober with subtle nods to iconic Chattanooga architecture forming the basis of the 1,575 square foot project is going up at the new Kinley Hotel. As with all art - interpretation is left to the viewer.
Curator of the new hotel at Chattanooga’s Southside, Ashley Parrot, approached local artist
Ms. Buckles through mutual community connections. The proposal : an outdoor mural.
Contracted by Vision Hospitality to convey the idea of “Togetherness” the artists are painting the Kinley’s south-facing wall. The mural will feature 23 colors, roughly 13 to 15 gallons of paint, with an additional 30- 40 paints for the drip method portions. The project is partially funded by a partnership with Public Art Chattanooga and the Southeast Tennessee Development District facilitated by ArtsBuild.
Inspired by the Kinley Hotels mission to curate the space with only local female artists, Ms. Buckles and UTC Marketing student Briah Gober set to work, focusing on the grid design inherent to mural work.
“Grid lines led me to think of female relationships, and in particular - quilts," said Ms. Buckles. "The way quiltmaking relates to the South, and how the thread relates to community and togetherness, particularly in stitching circles. With both of us born here, it’s coming full circle.
“The project has come together fairly quickly considering the scale and location. We were both
on board as soon as we were asked, more so because of the hotel’s mission to only display female artists.
“We’ve been so fortunate to have such good support, they’ve been holding our hands through the contract, helping with storage, priming, prepping, legwork - we went in it blindly, but with so much help- all such a whirlwind experience, but totally worth every bit of it.”
Ms. Buckles and Ms. Gober met a few years ago at an event called “The Incline Art Crawl.” Instrumental in this project have been numerous people, among them: Ms. Parrot, Eric Finley Jr, Kevin Bate, James McKissic, Frances McDonald, Ann Law and countless friends.
Ms. Buckles's only previous large scale experience were interior walls at the Barking Legs Theater.
“This is just the beginning - I feel like an infant.”
Of the project both agree it was “Divine timing.”
The two have never worked together, but “we work so well together, total flow, it’s so chill.”
“We have both learned and given so much towards this," said Ms. Gober. "We work so well together, there’s no way we won’t work together again.”
“I hope it’s a ticket for traveling gigs- to paint beautiful things in other cities,” Ms. Buckles added.
“The mural has been such fun, and a full blown education too," said Ms. Gober. "If you don’t take the risk, you don’t gain anything."
Kinley Hotel is slated for a soft-opening this week. To learn more about the artists and their
portfolio visit https://www.instagram.com/aleciavera/ and https://www.instagram.com/lovelyintoxication_/