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“When people see the mural, I want them to think that we are a proud UT family,” said Beth Douthat, UT Knoxville alumna and owner of Douthat Farms in Mohawk, Tennessee.
The 306-acre family-owned and -operated farm in Greene County will soon be home to a mural in the “Everywhere You Look, UT” campaign. Rain caused a delay in the painting schedule, which began July 20, and work will resume as soon as possible.
Situated approximately 25 feet from state Route 348, the 14-foot-high by 90-foot-wide mural will be seen by an estimated 219,000 travelers a year.
Douthat, a Herbert College of Agriculture graduate, was working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service when she met Mark Douthat (UT Knoxville, ’89).
“My late husband wanted to build a 1,500-head dairy, and I was going to be the engineer to design the waste system,” she said. “So, UT gave us a foundation, gave us a connection and a network.
“I take pride in being a UT alumna,” she added. “I wasn’t there for the football. I did go to the games, but that’s not what it was about, it was about the education. The education gave me my career and led me down the path that brought me here.”
The farm has been in the family for more than 60 years, and the Douthats have four children, Luke, Sarah, Rebecca and Jonathon.
“I’m just so excited that we get to have this on our farm, and we get to represent a little bit of what the University of Tennessee means,” said Sarah Douthat, a senior at UT Martin.
“We live in such a small community,” she said. “A lot of people think they can’t go to a four-year University or they can’t really make that much of themselves. But looking at that mural, I want them to know that UT is an opportunity for everyone.”
6160 McDonald Rd
Mohawk, TN 37810
Painting a 40-foot mural on a metal grain bin in 90-degree heat calls for a special type of artist.
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.