Looking for a new way to explore the hidden treasures of Middle Tennessee? What better way than to combine history with the beauty of art created for all to see and enjoy, which you can discover in the many destinations throughout our state?
Bernice Davidson is a community artist. Ms. Davidson’s passion is to research the unsung heroes of small towns, whose stories deserve to be told. Her method is to interview the local “story-holders,” learning the history of an area as defined by its citizens, discovering heroes who exhibit lives of integrity.
Over the decades Davidson has created a wide array of public art, large murals that dot the landscape throughout our nation, with many right here in Middle Tennessee.
The Heroes Project
The largest visible collection is The Heroes Project in Giles County, Tennessee. It consists of 11 murals in and around Pulaski, on display for the public to visit and experience. Their subjects range from leaders in education to pioneers in civil rights, first responders and respected preachers. Visitors to the area can pick up a map of mural locations at the Pulaski Chamber of Commerce, located on the town square.
At Davidson’s studio, a new, multi-panel, 16 x 8 foot mural is underway for the city of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. It features hometown hero James D. Vaughn, considered the father of gospel music and the composer of its signature four part harmonies. The mural will hang on the side of Weather Brothers Music store on Pulaski street in Lawrenceburg, and serve as the gateway to the Vaughn Museum located just off the town square. It will be unveiled Oct 5 at 9:00 a.m.
Marking the Trail of Tears
Another mural located on Lawrenceburg’s town square is the cornerstone of Ms. Davidson’s 15-year effort to mark and call attention to the Trail of Tears, where thousands of Cherokee people were removed from their homes on forced marches to reservations in Oklahoma, passing through many small towns in Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.
The Trail of Tears mural on the Lawrenceburg Square is a striking rendition of a Cherokee man, woman, and child, an image of dignity and respect. More paintings representing the Trail of Tears can be seen in the Old Jail Museum, located just a block off the square.
Ms. Davidson was a key player in the establishment of The Trail of Tears Interpretive Center in Pulaski Tennessee, which holds the mural of a Cherokee hero.
Another Trail of Tears art installation can be seen in a small park on the town square, in the center of Mount Pleasant, Tennessee.
“I am thrilled and excited to be creating public works art that celebrates the unsung heroes,” says Davidson, “telling the stories of those people in our communities whose lives have served as role models for future generations.”
Learn more about the Giles County Heroes Project by visiting www.gilescoheroes.org/
To view more of Ms. Davidson’s work, for more information, visit her website.
If you would to have a mural created for your community, contact: davidson at usit.net, or call 931-829-2043