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Tim and Jackie Gregory hope their new mural will make a statement—a statement of their love for the University of Tennessee and a statement in Trousdale County about what UT means to so many people.
“Tim emailed to tell me what he’d done before he even made it home,” Jackie said of her husband submitting their property for consideration. “And we’ve been excited since that day.”
The Gregory’s, who live in Old Hickory, own 38 acres in Tim’s hometown of Hartsville. The farm has been idle since the passing of Tim’s mother, Betty Gregory, in 2012, and the couple is working to bring it back to life in hopes of spending quality time there when they retire.
In addition to clearing the property and building a fence for cattle or goats, Tim is prepping the 10-foot tall by 30-foot wide storage barn on Highway 25 for paint—orange and white paint that is.
“People are always asking what we’re doing at the farm,” Jackie said. “We’re so excited because we love the University of Tennessee and are Big Orange supporters. Once the mural is painted and passersby see it, they’ll be as excited as we are.”
Among the estimated 2.3 million people a year who drive that stretch of highway, the most excited of them all to see the mural will be Jackie’s father, who lives nearby in her hometown of Smith County.
“I come from a family who have been UT fans since I was born,” she said. “Dad is one of the biggest Big Orange fans in the state. To this day, he wears orange and white wherever he goes.
Tim’s ties to UT also date back to childhood. Attending UT was something he’d dreamed about since he was 10 years old, he said.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from UT Knoxville in 1977 and went on to study at the Nashville School of Law before beginning a career of public service for the State of Tennessee.
In addition to expressing their love for UT, the Gregorys hope the mural will inspire more individuals to attend college.
“I want to encourage the youth in the county to consider UT,” he said. “My experience at UT Knoxville was such a great one, and I want more students to have the same experience.
“UT is our university in Tennessee.”
2860 Highway 25
Hartsville, TN 37074
(Barn is located across the highway)
Check back for progress updates and follow along on social media.
Troy Freeman started his mural painting career while still in high school, painting mascots for his and area schools before advancing to sign painting work for local farmers and then founding his own business.
Free Sky Studios, Inc. is a Springfield, Illinois, based professional mural and sign painting business providing commercial and residential clients with a professional source for quality, creative work. With more than 20 years of experience, Troy focuses on delivering quality service marked with exceptional talent and professionalism in every project.
From a 65-foot corn cob to 4-story Frank Lloyd Wright tribute mural, Troy has the experience and expertise to tackle any location we envision.