Over the last two years, I’ve taken dozens of people’s pictures with my I Love Memphis sign. It’s nothing fancy – just a sheet of 8.5 x 11 printer paper with “I (heart) Memphis” scrawled on it in Sharpie. The paper has started to soften on the sides from being held so much. It has a giant crease down the middle from being folded in my notebook. It’s held together with tape.
The problem is, there’s only one sign, and there’s only one me. That’s where this wall comes in:
Through a joint effort of my office (the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau), the City of Memphis and the Urban Arts Commission, this retaining wall in Cooper Young is going to be transformed into a giant replica of the I Love Memphis sign.
And it’s only the first one. By mid-summer, there will be ten unique “I Love Memphis” signs painted by talented muralists all over town. Some of the murals will be designed by artists in the Urban Arts Commission’s mural program. Others will be publicly submitted designs.
The first one is being painted on the retaining wall at the fancy train trestle in Cooper Young (facing Central) by the lovely and talented Brandon Marshall. It’s going to be finished next week.
To kick off the project, we’re having a big party in the parking lot next to the mural on Thursday, May 12th from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. There will be live music from the Wuvbirds, dancing by the New Ballet School, food and drinks, and plenty of giant post-its so that you can write the reasons you love Memphis and stick them to the wall. I’ll also be giving away a pair of Wanda Jackson tickets and announcing how to enter the public-submitted design contest.
But mostly, I want you to come and take your picture with the sign. You can even hold the little one in front of the big one if you want to.