Mark Making Installs Mural Created By Inmates Titled "Birds Of Freedom" On Billboard In East Chattanooga

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Inmates at the Hamilton County Jail were challenged to create a mural expressing their message to
people “on the outside.” After discussing the stigma associated with being an offender and the “us vs.
them” culture they experience, participants decided to demonstrate the idea that after rejoining society, they could be worthwhile citizens capable of creating work that beautifies neighborhoods.

To best depict this idea, they settled on the theme of birds, "beautiful creatures experiencing freedom."

Inmates started by drawing bird structures that evolved into individualized birds crafted from their
imaginations. Digital versions of their drawings were organized into a composition sized to fit the
billboard’s location during photo shop sessions in the jail classroom. The birds were scaled, traced onto parachute cloth, and then painted during their classes.

From preliminary discussions to the finished piece, Birds of Freedom took one year to complete. During that time, about 75 inmates attended art classes funded by the Tennessee Arts Commission and had a hand in creating this mural.

A comment from an inmate evaluation read, “I learned, and am still learning, how to deal with and work with people. Learning a lot of art skills is fun. I love everything about this class.”

Mark Making has hosted classes in the Hamilton County Jail almost every Friday night since 2012. Mark Making seeks to empower individuals and transform communities through the arts. They work primarily with children, teens and adults with disabilities, the homeless and incarcerated.


Fort Hill Cemetery Walking Tours To Take Place Oct. 28

Lee University and the Bradley County Historical and Genealogical Society will present the 12th Annual Walking Tour of Historic Fort Hill Cemetery on Sunday, Oct. 28.  Tours will be led by Lee University history majors and volunteers who will introduce the community to several Clevelanders and Bradley Countians from the early 20th century buried at Fort Hill.  Students ... (click for more)

Esther Helton Endorsed For State Representative By TQEE-PAC

East Ridge City Councilwoman Esther Helton has received her second endorsement of early education advocates, Tennesseans for Quality Early Education – Political Action Committee. Ms. Helton, who won a rancorous and hard-fought GOP primary with the support to TQEE-PAC, has secured the endorsement in the general election over her Democratic opponent.  “Councilwoman Helton ... (click for more)

County Schools To Push Forward With Equity Effort; Magnet Schools To Get More Diversity With Lottery Change

The county schools will push forward with an equity effort that appeared to have been paused after board members Rhonda Thurman and Joe Smith in May said  they rejected the idea that county schools need to “racially and economically integrate.” An equity task force did not meet for several months and the schools did not move forward on hiring an outside consultant to help ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC To Build Soccer-Specific Stadium For 2020 Season

Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club is building a state-of-the-art, soccer-specific facility, where the team will host home games beginning in 2020. For its inaugural season, the club will play at Chattanooga Christian School’s David Stanton Field in 2019.   David Stanton Field seats 3,500, and the club plans to install additional temporary seating allowing up to approximately ... (click for more)

Drink Up, Chattanooga

I attended the meeting to discuss the placement of the sewage treatment plant at the Cambridge Center in Ooltewah today. My problem with the meeting (aka) dog and pony show, is that the meeting started out with the agenda of the Ooltewah Community Council.  After living in this area for 45+ years I have never heard of this group.  I would like for someone to answer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Lee In A Landslide

The first time I met Bill Lee, the guy who is triggering a huge turnout of Tennessee voters across the state, I instantly liked him, admired him, and must have told a dozen friends that day we have the most exciting guy going to the Governor’s Mansion we’ve ever had. The best reason is because Bill Lee is real. His opponent, Karl Dean, is a Democrat and a longtime politician. Go ... (click for more)