At this year’s Faire, 800 Collective is bringing a new and innovative way to have a discussion about the city of Chattanooga, but they are not necessarily going to be using words. 800 Collective is putting together “art for the city’s sake, not just for art’s sake” with their “Color Your City” exhibit.


Founded at its original meeting spot on 800 Market Street in Chattanooga, 800 found its name from their original meeting space at the historic Lovemans Building, and “The Eight” is a group of early American artists who pursued “art for life’s sake.” 800 Collective is a diverse group of artists who use visual art as a means of civic engagement.


With 800 Collective’s “Color Your City” exhibit, a 5′ x 8′ mural displaying the Chattanooga cityscape will be on hand for attendees to see and reflect themselves and the way they feel about the city. This cityscape will feature Chattanooga landmarks that visitors know and love, including the Tennessee Aquarium, the Walnut Street Bridge, and Patten Towers, holding noteworthy historical significance to the city.


Artists in attendance from the Collective will invite and guide Maker Faire visitors to “Color Their City” by painting and completing portions of the mural that depicts the city.


“Using a ‘paint-by-numbers’ approach, artists will ask attendees a series of questions about themselves and their city, and will then provide them with the option to answer in the form of artistic expression,” said Mary Ann Twitty, an 800 Collective Artist and Programming Consultant. “We will provide the supplies, attendees just have to bring their creativity.”


Instead of a typical question and answer set-up, artists will engage and facilitate conversation about the city, creative culture, and community with attendees as they select their colors and decide how to proceed with their portion of the mural.


Attendees will then select their portion in which to paint and their color, and paint with help from the artists. The project’s cohesive color palette will ensure that attendees can paint with their choices while the mural maintains a clear structure.


“The finished piece will reflect individuals’ aspirations for themselves and their city,” said Josiah Golson, Director of 800 Collective.


By the end of the Faire, the mural will be completed and ready to display. 800 Collective hopes to display the mural at the sites depicted in the cityscape. The mural will also be available for show and lease to public institutions and spaces interested in displaying it.


The 800 Collective organizes sessions and workshops throughout Chattanooga. These sessions are open to the public, as guests are led in accessible art activities to foster discussion of community issues and themes. Beginning or advanced artists are invited to attend – there is something for everyone.


For more information about 800 Collective, or to learn more about their upcoming events, visit their website and follow the 800 Collective on Facebook and Instagram.


The Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire is right around the corner – happening THIS Saturday, September 9, at the First Tennessee Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is FREE.

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