By Annie Humphrey
Wilson County will soon be a destination for Instagrammers looking for trendy spots to take pictures, as a new county-wide mural project is underway.
In mid-August, an agricultural-themed mural was unveiled at the Wilson County fairgrounds as the first installment of the new project, known as Paint Wilco or #paintwilco. This project, put on by the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, aims to increase tourism and social media presence.
It consists of ten new murals that will be painted in various locations around the county. This type of artwork exists in many cities and is mostly used as backgrounds for pictures posted on social media. This spreads awareness of the area to a larger audience, and as a result, increases tourism.
The newly-completed mural illustrates the significance of agriculture to the Lebanon and Wilson County area. It features a young female farmer among a variety of colorful plants and animals.
Mallory Jennings, the artist who created the mural, stated in a Lebanon Democrat article, “We made sure it was a woman farmer. Since I've grown up in Wilson County, it's always been an old man with a straw hat. Women are empowered now, and there are many doing wonderful things here.”
Though this mural is portable, the next nine in the project will mostly be painted on buildings. The locations for these new artworks are not yet known, but there will for sure be one on the caboose at Charlie Daniels Park in Mount Juliet.
According to an article by the Chronicle of Mt. Juliet, once all murals of the Paint Wilco project are completed at the end of 2020, “there will be a mural trail for tourists and county residents alike to visit each one.”
Amy Nichols, the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau director, hopes the murals will attract more tourists to the area, similar to surrounding cities.
The Lebanon Democrat quoted Nichols saying, “This is really going to help share our brand awareness through social media… It will bring visitors to the county.”