Portland continues to make Main Street a vital part of the city. Most recently artist Manny Fuentes was commissioned to paint a mural on the outside wall of the alley that is located on the left side of Main Street as you are going east.
The mural was commissioned by the City of Portland, The Portland Chamber of Commerce, and the Freedle family who owns the building the mural was painted on.
President and CEO of The Portland Chamber Sherri Ferguson said, “The chamber has wanted a mural in Portland for some time. We have researched for a couple years on the best way to proceed. I feel this has turned out to be a great time to bring color during a difficult time. We are excited for the finished product and a ribbon cutting.”
Fuentes was chosen to do the mural because of his success drawing murals in other cities like Nashville and White House. One of his most popular murals is the large postcard he painted for Loser Bar & Grill at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Broadway. Tourists pose in front of the postcard and send the pictures to friends.
The mural in White House is a freestyle painting located on the Tennessee Flea Mall building. It features a United States flag, the three stars representing East, Middle, and West Tennessee, along with several other drawings.
The mural in Portland is also a freestyle mural. He was given the idea to draw something colorful that would make people feel good when they looked at it or walked down the alley. He chose to draw large brightly colored butterflies and flowers on one end, and on the end furthest from Main Street he painted various shapes of colors. There are three sections which blend together. He chose professional spray can paint for the art media. People who choose to make pictures can take each section and have the entire mural. Plans are to have more murals drawn around town, which will be more themed.
Mayor Mike Callis said, “It’s a wonderful addition to downtown, and the artist is very talented. Hopefully more murals can be added around town; it really brightens things up.”
Fuentes grew up in Celina and later moved to White House. He has also lived in Mexico. He began drawing around the age of five and that talent has become his life’s work. He not only paints murals, but does signs and logos on buildings. People can find examples of his work on his Facebook page at Manuel Fuentes. His identifiers are mural artist/Nashville TN.
He said, “People ask me what inspires me. I am inspired by people loving and enjoying my work. I find inspiration from the people who let me know they appreciate the drawings. That inspires me.”