Nashville artist selected for Columbia ‘Walls for Women’ mural

Nashville artist Tara Aversa has been selected to complete the Columbia “Walls for Women” mural trail, which is scheduled to begin in September.

Walls for Women is a statewide project launched last year on the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, which led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote.

Columbia is the ninth city to be selected for the project, which is led by DMA (Do. More. Art.) Events, a Tullahoma-based non-profit organization founded by President Kristin Luna and her husband, Scott van Velsor. , as a community organization and statewide tourism initiative.

The goal of the Walls for Women project is to employ female artists to construct and paint murals throughout the state of Tennessee, the state that was the deciding factor in the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Its name also derives from the suffragette slogan “Votes for Women”.

“It might not have happened without this decisive vote, and so around the same time last year, we launched Walls for Women,” Luna told Columbia City Council in March. “It was a project to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage, then celebrate women in the creative arts in the future by giving them more opportunities and abilities to express themselves through public art.”

The board initially approved the project in March, although this is not the first time Columbia has participated in the Walls for Women project since its inception last year. In September Whitney Herrington, muralist and arts teacher, was chosen to do a Walls for Women work in Centerville.

Whitney Herrington paints a new mural in Centerville, which was one of eight murals selected as part of

“We are very excited to add Columbia to our list of Walls for Women cities,” Luna said in a press release. “Downtown Columbia has seen impressive revitalization over the past decade, and we look forward to being a part of the next wave of transformation as the city continues to build its arts corridor.

The Columbia mural will be located downtown, although the exact location and design is being kept under wraps for now.

Columbia Tourism and Marketing Director Kellye Murphy, who, along with the Columbia Arts Council, initially contacted DMA to consider Muletown as its next location for the project, said the city was “very honored” to be part of the wall path.

“It’s about being part of this amazing statewide mural trail. They’re murals by women and on women,” Murphy said. “It’s in the foreground of lots of conversations right now, and for us, it’s exciting to be a part of it. “

Columbia City Council voted in March 2021 for the city's statewide participation and partnership

Aversa is a longtime artist from Nashville. She has completed over 50 murals in the past three years, including the very first murals commissioned by DMA such as the American Flag Magnolia and “Bertha” the Octopus in Tullahoma.

The selection process was led by DMA, which carefully chooses its Walls for Women participants from its own team of muralists.

“Tara Aversa is one of the most talented artists we have worked with in our years of public art curation. We love her use of color and fantasy, and she is very good at creating pieces that become icons of the community, ”said Luna. “We are delighted that she has agreed to be our Columbia artist for Walls for Women.”

For more information on DMA Events, its mission and past wall projects, visit its website at

About Bernice D. Brewer

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