Red in the Place

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South Main is painting the town — its part of it, at least — red.

In the coming weeks, the South Main Association will install 10 large red panels in a vacant lot across the Central Station.

"The site has some environmental issues," says Lorie Chapman, chair of the group's neighborhood improvement committee. "We hope to eventually have it developed, but until then, this is a neighborhood beautification project."

The panels, following the lead of Anthony Lee's "Modern Hieroglyphs" project on the Central Station wall, will be several shades of red.

"The symbols start a darker red and then fade to orange, and we liked how he did that," Chapman says. "We thought we could do something to complement that."

The panels will also use music lyrics that reference Memphis or, because of the proximity of Central Station, trains.

In collaboration with UrbanArt, high school students and community volunteers will be working on the panels at a downtown warehouse this weekend and should install them next weekend.

"We want to do more simple community-based art projects," Chapman says. "We hope to eventually hire artists to do murals and more permanent projects once we build capacity through these types of projects."

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