Archive for the ‘Press Release’ Category

Dogwood Arts Working to Restore Vandalized Dolly Parton Mural

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

April 15, 2020 [Knoxville, Tennessee]— The Dolly Parton mural located in Strong Alley (also known as Artist Alley in Downtown Knoxville) was recently vandalized, leaving many Knoxville residents and Dolly fans feeling heartbroken and angry. The mural was completed in 2019 by Colton Valentine, a street artist/muralist based in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, Valentine’s work has garnered global attention across social media––with his large scale murals depicting rappers like Cardi B, Soulja Boy, and 21 Savage. 

The unfortunate act of vandalism, which also impacted four other murals in Strong Alley, will require restoration but also presents a perfect opportunity to enhance the artwork with new design elements that evoke the spirit of Parton herself. After alerting Valentine of the vandalism and consulting him on next steps, Dogwood Arts asked local artist Megan Lingerfelt to restore and enhance the popular piece. Like Dolly says, “When I’m feeling a little low, I put on my favorite high heels to stand a little taller.” 

Dogwood Arts will provide funding for the restoration through the Art in Public Places Mural Program;  restoration will begin immediately and will be completed over the next few weeks. Visitors can expect to see a few new design elements (new lips, earrings, maybe even a butterfly or two…) as well as a layer of anti-graffiti coating.  Megan will be collaborating with Colton Valentine throughout the entire process.


According to  Megan, “As soon as I heard Dolly was tagged I knew several other pieces in the alley would have also been hit.  It is known as “graffiti alley” so I am not surprised that people still tag there, though I am disappointed that they chose to target several artworks instead of the less developed walls.  I love the idea that there is a place where artists can go and paint at will – that is really special – but unfortunately we can’t expect everyone to respect it. Colton, the artist who created the Dolly piece, talked with me at length about how graffiti culture promotes the street art we love; they’re symbiotic in a way.  Many businesses want murals to draw attention, to support local artists, but also to combat graffiti. When he painted Dolly he covered a really awesome piece; that’s the nature of the beast. Dolly wasn’t commissioned, so technically she’s kinda graffiti too. However there is a huge difference between an artist creating something for a neighborhood to enjoy rather than destroying it.  You can’t really stop tagging. You can prepare for it with specialized coatings, be ready to repair it, and hope for the best.”


Megan Lingerfelt has been working with Dogwood Arts, the Downtown Knoxville Alliance, and City of Knoxville on various projects located throughout the downtown footprint in recent years. She has completed a number of murals in Strong Alley, most recently the seasonally-alternating Downtown Knoxville mural on the south end. 

The Art in Public Places Mural Program was developed by Dogwood Arts to highlight mural artists working in our region and to encourage other artists to add mural art to their repertoire. The work Dogwood Arts is encouraging in Strong Alley is meant to further enhance the vibrant urban space created by a unique collaboration of artists and property owners that has existed for more than a decade. Artists or property owners who are interested in learning more about the mural program can email The Art in Public Places Mural Program is sponsored by the Downtown Knoxville Alliance, the City of Knoxville, and ORNL Federal Credit Union.

You Did it, Knoxville! 10,000 DOGWOOD TREES IN 10 YEARS

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Celebrating One Step Closer to a Bazillion Dogwood Blooms in Knoxville

November 13, 2018 [Knoxville, Tennessee]— Dogwood Arts has reached our goal of adding 10,000 Dogwood trees to East Tennessee’s landscape through the Bazillion Blooms program. A significant contribution by the Modern Woodmen of America has pushed tree sales past 10,000! The Bazillion Blooms program began in 2009 with a mission to revitalize tree plantings along our historic dogwood trails and throughout our region. Ten years later, we can all celebrate this community wide effort to ensure our region’s spring beauty will continue into the future.

Dogwood Arts commemorated reaching this goal by planting the 10,000th tree along the Dogwood Trail in the Historic North Hills neighborhood. Lloyd King, a Dogwood volunteer for over 35 years, assisted with the planting. Lloyd has overseen the planting of over 90 dogwoods in the North Hills neighborhood since the inception of the program 10 years ago!

If you haven’t purchased your Dogwood Tree yet, don’t worry. There’s still time to participate! Trees can be ordered online at or by phone at [865] 637-4561 now through Friday, November 16th. These 2’ – 4’ bare-root trees are available for $25 each or five [5] for $100.

Trees ordered from Dogwood Arts must be picked up on Saturday, December 1, from 9:00am to 12:00pm at the UT Gardens off Neyland Drive. 

Larger blooming trees, as well as other flowering shrubs, bulbs, and perennials will be available for purchase at participating Bazillion Blooms garden centers this fall:

  • Ellenburg Landscaping & Nursery :: 722 Vanosdale Road, 37909 :: [865]769-5677
  • Stanley’s Greenhouse & Plant Farm :: 3029 Davenport Road, 37920 :: [865]573-9591
  • Wilson Fine Gardens :: 5805 Walden Drive, 37919 :: [865]603-4002

We’ve reached our 10-year goal, but that doesn’t mean the end of the program! Bazillion Blooms will be back in 2019, reinvigorated with a new focus that will continue to add spring blooms to our city.

Experience Fall Foliage at Dogwood Arts’ Fall Featured Garden

Friday, October 12th, 2018

October 9, 2018 [Knoxville, Tenn.]Bring the whole family and experience our region’s beautiful fall foliage in one of Knoxville’s most exceptional gardens. Dogwood Arts is honored that Dr. Alan Solomon is opening his private garden to share with the public for our Fall Featured Garden event.

When: Sunday, October 21st [10AM-5PM]

Where: 2705 Riverside Drive, Knoxville 37914

How Much: This event is free though a $5 cash donation on-site is suggested

Included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens, GATOP [God’s Answer To Our Prayers] features many hundreds of botanical specimens such as conifers and hollies, extensive displays of wildflowers, perennials, and groundcovers, as well as numerous water features and large marble outcroppings.  Enjoy a self-guided tour through over 18 acres of beautiful vistas, bubbling springs, and rich local history. Complimenting this unusual garden are stainless-steel, iron, bronze, and stone sculptures. This site also features one of Knoxville’s oldest marble quarries.

Guests can register for the event using the ticket link below to receive updates and more information as the event gets closer! You can also donate via the ticket link instead of bringing cash to the event.

Register Here:

Dogwood Arts, presented by ORNL Federal Credit Union, is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to promote and celebrate our region’s art, culture, and natural beauty.  For more information on Dogwood Arts, visit or call (865) 637-4561.


Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Dogwood Arts plans to reach goal of 10,000 Dogwood Trees planted in ten years

September 26, 2018 [Knoxville, Tennessee]— Dogwood Arts encourages Knoxville to help us reach 10,000 Dogwood trees planted in 10 years as a part of the Bazillion Blooms program. Since the initiation of Bazillion Blooms in 2009, Dogwood Arts, along with community and corporate partners, have planted more than 9,600 April-blooming, disease-resistant dogwood trees.

The community-wide tree-planting date is set for Saturday, December 1. Knoxville communities can ‘Keep Knoxville Blooming’ for years to come by planting not only dogwood trees, but spring flowering trees and shrubs, bulbs, and perennials during the Fall gardening season. Fall planting allows plants to develop strong root systems over the winter months, so they are strong for upcoming summer heat. Since the inception of the Bazillion Blooms program in 2009, Dogwood Arts has been working towards a goal of planting 10,000 new trees in the Knoxville community in 10 years. Dogwood Arts is selling disease-resistant dogwood trees at or by phone at [865]637-4561 through November 16th. These 2’ – 4’ bare-root trees are available for $25 each or five [5] for $100.

Trees ordered from Dogwood Arts must be picked up on Saturday, December 1, from 9:00am to 12:00pm at the UT Gardens off Neyland Drive.  Trees will not be distributed at a later time or date.

Larger blooming trees, as well as other flowering shrubs, bulbs, and perennials will be available for purchase at participating Bazillion Blooms garden centers this fall:


Monday, September 24th, 2018

Dogwood Arts is excited to announce Ashleigh Christian and Clarence L. Vaughn, III as the 2019 Dogwood Arts Co-Chairs. Since 1961, Dogwood Arts has been represented by two prominent community leaders who are selected annually to act as ambassadors of our organization. Dogwood Arts Co-chairs are proud of our East Tennessee community and committed to helping further the mission of Dogwood Arts.

Ashleigh Christian is the Director of Membership Development at the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, where she has worked since 2005. She is a nationally recognized sales executive who has won the bronze, silver, platinum, and most recently million-dollar award for chamber sales. Clarence L. Vaughn, III served in the Financial Industry for over 13 years, with positions of management and leadership in various industries. Through the appointment of Mayor Madeline Rogero, Mr. Vaughn now serves as the Executive Director of the Police Advisory and Review Committee for the City of Knoxville.

“The Dogwood Arts staff is thrilled to have Ashleigh and Clarence as part of our team for the 2018/19 season. Our co-chairs bring new passion to the organization each year and do the important work of representing Dogwood Arts in the community, connecting us to new and different individuals and groups. We’re excited to see what the year brings with Ashleigh and Clarence leading the way.” – Sherry Jenkins, Dogwood Arts Executive Director

 As Co-Chairs, Ashleigh and Clarence will champion the organization as official community ambassadors for 18 programs and events that Dogwood Arts produces throughout the year. Regarding her appointment, Ashleigh remarks “Dogwood Arts is such a wonderful part of our community. Knoxville is so blessed to have an organization dedicated to its ongoing beautification, and I am honored to be a part of helping the tradition continue.” Clarence adds, “This organization provides a reflection of Knoxville’s collective group of individuals, talent, and ingenuity. The pulse of the City of Knoxville is showcased throughout the series of events and activities held during the annual Dogwood Arts Festival. I am honored to have been given an opportunity to serve alongside such a celebrated organization.”

Previous Dogwood Arts co-chairs include Dino Cartwright, Jennifer Holder, Janet Testerman-Crossley, Joan Cronan, Ken Lowe, Bob Thomas, Erin Donovan, Alvin Nance, Eddie Mannis, and many more.

More about the 2019 Co-Chairs:

Ashleigh Christian has lived in Knoxville for 22 years and is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  She started with the chamber of commerce in 2005 and has since had 3 promotions. In her current role, she is responsible for managing the sales team, premier membership sales, sponsorship sales, public speaking, and sales training. Currently ranked 4th in the nation for chamber sales, Ashleigh travels all over the country to train sales people at other chambers. In 2014, she was named “Knoxville’s Rising Star” by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Clarence L. Vaughn, III is a graduate of Florida A & M University with a B.A. in Business Administration, School of Business Industry. In addition, Mr. Vaughn received a Master’s of Business Administration from Syracuse University, with a concentration in Organizational Management. Mr. Vaughn was recognized as a “40 under 40” recipient by the Knoxville Business Journal, and he was a graduate of the Introduction Knoxville Class of 2017. He is a member of the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement which is focused on improving relationships between law enforcement and citizens. In addition, Mr. Vaughn has taken part in the Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizen’s Academy, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Inaugural Citizen’s Academy, the Knox County District Attorney’s Inaugural Citizen’s Academy, and the Knoxville Police Department Citizen’s Academy.

Mr. Vaughn serves in several leadership roles among professional groups and organizations in Knoxville. A true passion for service and philanthropic activities derive from his involvement in each organization.