(Paris, TN) With a Tennessee Arts Commission grant called Arts Building Communities (ABC), “Back Alley Paris” is painting the town featuring “Windows of the West Alley” located in the alley on the west side of the Court Square. This is Phase 3 in the Back Alley Paris Project. “Back Alley Paris” is a partnership between the City of Paris, Downtown Paris Association, and Robert E. Lee Academy of the Arts. “Back Alley Paris” is a visual arts project that we plan to promote as a unique venue in Downtown Paris through tourism opportunities. The project will make Paris a “must see” destination while keeping our downtown historic. We will utilize the Arts to create a sense of history for the early 1900’s while improving public spaces and displaying a sense of community character and pride.
The first alley, Phase 1, is next to the downtown fountain plaza and depicts vignettes of businesses that were in downtown Paris in the early 1900’s by artist, Jane Baars. Phase 2 is our Paris, Tennessee Eiffel Tower by artist Brenda Kitchens in the West Alley. Phase 3 is Windows of the West Alley by artists Dan Knowles and John Monroe. All three projects were made possible by grants obtained from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
DPA Executive Director, Kathy Ray said, “We are excited to have two local accomplished artists, Dan Knowles and John Monroe, for this particular art project. Dan and John have brought great ideas to the committee and their talent is evident in the artwork displayed. They have a sincere interest in the historical aspect of this project. I hope everyone will take a walk down the alley and read the stories of The Ring, The Lady in the red dress, The Lady Doctor and Her Brother, and Bloody Monday while enjoying the splendid artwork depicting historical events.”
Ray said, “We invite the public to come to the west alley on Monday, March 27th, at 10:00 a.m. directly behind Jack Jones Flowers & Gifts for an official opening of Windows of the West Alley. Meet John Monroe and Dan Knowles, the artists, and read the historical stories behind the paintings. The alleys are our history. We believe the unique ‘Back Alleys’ and historical views will lead visitors to the front doors of our downtown area creating economic revitalization for downtown merchants and property owners. We encourage everyone to bring stories of the era to the Downtown Paris Association office at 203 N. Fentress Street. We look forward to hearing from everyone. We are excited about this great opportunity to create such a unique venue in Downtown Paris. What is good for downtown Paris is good for the entire community.”
NOTE: Information about the artists:
John Monroe – A long time mainstay of the Paris and Henry County Art Scene, Impressionist John Monroe is considered to be one of the finest visual artists in Henry County. He is a winner of multiple Best of Shows across the United State. John studies at the Los Angeles Art Institute and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California Berkley. Color, light, shadow, and the flowing paint from the brush distilling memory in color…this is the Art of John Monroe.
Dan Knowles – The vision and willingness to pursue that vision is what causes Dan Knowles to be called a Renaissance Man. He is a painter, inlay artist, musician, instrument builder, singer, writer, and composer. Most influenced by the Surrealist work of Salvador Dali and the pointillism work of George Seurat, Dan studied with influential water colorist Dan Peterson who gave him his thorough grounding in composition and design. Dan Knowles’ instruments are played by top professionals and his paintings are proudly displayed in homes worldwide.