KINGSPORT — The residents of Lynn Garden are a proud people, with deep roots and a long history of supporting their community, businesses, schools and churches.

And that history will soon be expressed through the power of art.

With a grant from the city of Kingsport, the Lynn View Advisory Committee is spearheading a community mural project for the exterior wall of the Lynn Garden Hardware building. The project has been in the works for about a year, and volunteers have recently started painting sections of the mural that will be hung on the wall this fall.

Jim Wells, a member of the committee and a longtime Lynn Garden volunteer, said the group is in need of volunteers to help finish the project.

“There’s six of us working on the mural, but we want the community to come in,” Wells said.

Joe Pilkenton, a digital artist and sculptor on the Kingsport Carousel project, said participating in the mural project offers a sense of pride that no one can take away.

“The basic background (of the mural) can be done by just about anybody, and we’re looking for detail artists too,” Pilkenton said. “We’re willing to take anybody who’s willing to put in a little bit of effort and time.”


The 100-foot-long mural will illustrate a brief history of the Lynn Garden community, including such iconic images as the Lynn Garden Restaurant, the old Lynn View High School (and Lynx mascot), the Optimist Club's youth football league, a Pal’s cup, model trains, a golden cross and senior citizens.

It will stretch over two outdoor walls of the Lynn Garden Hardware building, essentially directing folks to “the heart of Lynn Garden” — the Lynn View Community Center just up the road, Wells said.

The mural is not one in the traditional sense, where paint is applied directly to the walls. Rather, it’s 40 sections of Pellon, a nonwoven material. The painting is taking place inside the hardware building, so folks don’t have to be out in the elements for the next six months.

Pilkenton explained that he designed the images for the mural on a computer and sent the file to a Philadelphia company, which in turn printed an outline on the Pellon material. Basically, the fabric is akin to a giant “paint by numbers” project, Wells said.


Creatively inclined people in the area are invited to help paint the mural fabric during community paint-in sessions. Tables have been set up — six feet apart — to allow folks to work on their own 5 by 5 foot section of the mural.

Wells said all the skill you need is a steady hand and the ability to paint clearly and carefully inside the lines.

If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Pilkenton at (423) 534-6735 or; Wells at (423) 288-5895 or; or Debbie Bell at (423) 429-5673 or They can facilitate small groups or “after hours” groups of coworkers from a local business or organization.

“The mural gives direction to visit the Lynn View Community Center from Lynn Garden Drive, but more important, it will present a bright, bold, uplifting energy of children playing, available activities for teens, adults, and loyal thriving businesses,” Wells said. “Help us create a lasting impression of cherished memories for all those who live or visit our wonderful community.”