While artist Kelsey Montague may put a finishing touch on each of the murals she has created through the years, her work is never really complete.
And that is just how she likes it. Montague has been painting what are known as interactive murals since around 2013, and each one lives on through photos people take alongside the mural and then post to social media. As her creations are shared throughout cyber space, she’s inspired to paint more and more.
“I just love interactive art,” said Montague, a Denver resident. “It drives me to create more. I love specifically creating for communities. I love when people step into a piece and become part of it, and then show something positive on social media.”
One of her murals has made it to Franklin, and it has already become a fixture at the growing McEwen Northside mixed-use community in Cool Springs.
Depicting a series of kites tethered to tails that passersby can “hold” in photos, this piece invites viewers to share their experiences, reactions to and musings about what is most important to them. Centered around the theme “What Lifts You,” Montague’s newest mural explores the intersection of public, interactive art and social media. The new mural is located on the side of Vintage Vine 100 at 4051 Aspen Grove Drive.
“When the world has settled again,” Montague said in a press release, “this mural will represent what I always want to ask: ‘What Lifts You?’ These kites will be uplifting and fun images that hopefully stop people in their tracks and get them to reflect on what is most important to them. But right now, in the midst of a pandemic, kites are metaphors for hope — something we have to keep hanging on to. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to keep hanging on.”
This is Montague’s first mural with kites, but her creations have become iconic in Nashville as well as many other cities and locations across the country. Visitors and residents line up for photos at her angel wings mural in The Gulch, and her interactive paintings are also found on walls in East Nashville, Green Hills and MLK Jr. Boulevard, among other sites.
The developers of McEwen Northside could sense that Montague’s kites mural would be the ideal fit for this family-friendly community.
“Art in all its forms is an essential part of the human experience, and we are proud to not only support public art but also give our McEwen Northside residents and patrons the opportunity to interact with such a conversational piece,” said Marina Murphy, marketing director for Boyle Investment Company, which has partnered with Northwood Ravin to develop McEwen.
“The McEwen Northside district was designed to be a neighborhood that fosters a sense of community, and Kelsey’s newest mural brings that experience to life.”
McEwen Northside is a mixed-use development located in the center of Cool Springs. The 45-acre development features 745,000 square feet of office space, 113,000 square feet of restaurants and specialty retail, a 310-room hotel, and plenty of green spaces.