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Call to Artists: Sweet P’s mural competition

KNOXVILLE — Artists and designers are invited to create the concept for Sweet P’s Downtown Dives next marketing piece — a mural that reflects the restaurant’s vibe and brand.

The high-visibility mural will be painted on the side of the downtown building facing west towards the popular and well-trafficked 100 Block of Gay Street.

“The mural will add visual appeal and character to Jackson Avenue, as well as help our customers identify our building as they round the corner from Gay Street,” said Chris Ford, owner and operator of Sweet P’s. “We love the vibrant spirit of downtown and want to continue that same motif on our property.”

Official entries should be emailed to Jonathan Ford, co-owner of Sweet P’s Barbeque, at The deadline for entires is Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. The winner will be announced at the Vol Kickoff Party on Friday, Sept. 11, at The Standard. The free party begins at 4 p.m. with games and former University of Tennessee football players signing autographs.

The event will end with a Gran Torino with The Hermit Kings concert at 8 p.m. Ford was the lead singer for Gran Torino. Tickets to the concert are $30 and may be purchased at

Accepted file formats include high-resolution PDFs and JPGs. The company recommends an 8x11 file size and 150 dpi print resolution. No file sizes over 2 MBs will be accepted. By submitting a design, the artist agrees to allow Sweet P’s Barbeque to share and use the design for promotional and other purposes.

Sweet P’s will select the winning design, and the artist will receive a $100 gift card to the restaurant. Once the mural is completed, the artist will be able to sign the finished product. The placement of the mural will be handled by Sweet P’s.

There are only two requirements for the design: It must include “Sweet P’s Barbeque” or “Sweet P’s BBQ” in the design. Artists may also consider including mentions of the Downtown Dive or the “Have a smokin’ day” tagline.

“Other than that, the rest is up to the artist,” Ford said. “We hope they will consider embracing the unique and funky vibe of our brand and restaurants.”

For inspiration, artists can draw from the restaurant’s eclectic décor, which features reclaimed furniture and fixtures from historic Knoxville structures, including the old KUB building and the Standard Knitting Mill. Memorabilia from the 1982 World’s Fair decorates the walls and contributes to the local feel of the space.

The restaurant has two locations – the newly opened Downtown Dive and the original Sweet P’s Barbeque & Soul House on a branch of the Tennessee River in South Knoxville. The menus feature Southern favorites, including a variety of barbecue plates, the BBQ Burrito and banana budding.

Sweet P’s menu is a fresh take on soul food classics and turns old favorites into Sweet P’s originals. Everything is made daily using fresh ingredients and the highest quality of meats. The company started as a catering business in 2005 and opened its first location in South Knoxville in the spring of 2009. The second location opened six years later in downtown Knoxville in 2015.

Published August 24, 2015

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