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Downtown mural invokes spirit of 1890′s hotel

East Tennessee artists are catching the eye of people walking along Gay Street with their artwork.
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 10:57 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Some East Tennessee artists are catching the eye of people walking along Gay Street with their artwork. Ilana Lilienthal and her daughter Orel Brodt are working on a mural on the side of the Hyatt Place Hotel.

“We love what we do. So when we concentrate on something we just concentrate on the one image I can be here forever,” said Lilienthal.

They’re calling it “The Imperial Alley” and they are drawing inspiration from the Imperial Hotel. The Imperial Hotel was destroyed by a fire in 1917 and rebuilt two years later as the Hotel Farragut. The building is now the Hyatt Place Hotel.

The wall is 100 feet long and 14 feet high. The mural gives people a second to appreciate the hotel that brought people to the city.

They painted opulent chandeliers, velvet ropes, armchairs painted with reds and gold, and the black and white photo on the wall.

“It’s our interpretation, it’s a little Alice and Wonderland-y, a little surrealist,” said Brodt.

They expect to finish the piece by the end of October.

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