Meet Our Artists

A campaign this large takes a village—and the UT System is proud to partner with some very talented artists. Anyone interested in contributing to the campaign is encouraged to contact Ellie Amador, director of marketing for the UT System, at amador@tennessee.edu.

Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper and a team of painters stand infront of a finished mural

Michael Cooper is well into his third decade of painting large-scale custom wall murals. He also provides decorative finishes, Venetian plasters, Trompe L’oeil and hand-painted large-scale graphics and signage.

Michael started Murals & More LLC in 1990 with his wife and business partner, Mickie, and since then he has designed and painted everything from small interior residential projects to enormous hotel interiors, massive exterior highway painting projects and fabulous Public Art installations.

Also an accomplished decorative painter, he has transformed many surfaces into amazing faux brick, intricate marble and classic Italian Plaster.

He is internationally renowned for his attention to detail and ability to create realistic and whimsical trompe l’oeil murals. People have simply been amazed at discovering what they thought was a series of wrought iron balconies or a clumsily placed ladder was actually a flat painted surface.

Even though his specialty is custom, large-scale wall murals and decorative finishes, Michael also has provided his clients with painted furniture, ceiling murals, floor cloths, backdrops, canvas murals and many other specialty items.

Troy Freeman

Owner and Lead Artist, FreeSky Studios

Troy Freeman painting the UT icon on a brick wall

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.

FreeSky Studios 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.

Mel K Whaley

Founder, FameYah Media

Mel K Whaley

Mel K Whaley, founder of FameYah Media, started her artistic passion in the late 80s when her grandmother enrolled her in art classes at the Old Downtown Knoxville Candy Building.

She learned charcoal, clay, watercolor, oil, chalk and many other mixed mediums which molded her to forever be passionate about Creative Arts.

She continued to integrate her art passions into her agency where she serves private business and government clientele offering media, marketing and ads. Through her agency, she also passionately supports freelancers in Tennessee.

FameYah Media partners with muralist Curtis Glover to support the UT mural campaign.

Curtis Glover

Artist Curtis Glover smiles in his studio, wearing a respirator mask around his neck

Curtis Glover has been running his mural business for over six years. Based in Knoxville, he is known for his large-scale, highly detailed work covering a multitude of walls in and around the city.

His style and content vary to suit the needs of his clients. As a commercial artist, he’s been hired by all types of businesses in the past that are looking to make a bold statement on their storefronts.

He mainly works with acrylics and spray cans while adding multiple layers to provide depth in his work—which can be seen from Tennessee to Costa Rica.

Paris Woodhull

Owner and Illustrator, Paris Woodhull Illustrations

Artist Paris Woodhull in her studio

A born and raised Knoxvillian, Paris Woodhull’s heart will always be in her hometown. Along with a line of products that includes apparel and paper goods, she also offers a range of freelance illustration services.

Paris partners with the UT mural campaign to create illustrations of locations that are used as gifts and featured on our social media accounts and website. Her work adds another storytelling dimension to the campaign and brings each location to life in new ways.

She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2D art with a concentration in painting and drawing from UT Knoxville. She began her business while attending UT and quickly fell in love with the combination of art and business and the supportive maker community Knoxville has to offer. She loves bold color, pattern, pop culture, portraiture, fashion, and is fueled by copious amounts of coffee. These days you’ll find her set up at craft fairs, painting murals and working with clients to help their creative vision come alive!