knoxville news
knoxville news knoxville advertising entertainment knoxville obituaries rss linkedin twitter facebook contact smoky mountains knoxville legal notices knoxville classifieds travel knoxville sports business lifestyle knoxville daily sun

Shades of Vincent van Gogh every night in Clarksville, Tennessee
By Tom Adkinson

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of travel stories spotlighting destinations and activities to consider in a time of coronavirus and to inspire safe outings elsewhere.)

starry night in clarksville tn
Starry night in Clarksville, Tennessee. Image by Tom Adkinson.

CLARKSVILLE, Tennessee – Clarksville certainly doesn’t play on the same field as New York City, but this mid-sized Middle Tennessee community and the Big Apple have something in common – the art of Vincent van Gogh. No, there’s not a Van Gogh in Clarksville, but there is an impressive 120-foot-long mural inspired by Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” on the commercial building at 420 Madison Street. The real “Starry Night” is one of the most famous paintings in the world, and it lives in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Artist Olasubomi Aka-Bashorum painted the mural in 2018 and drew inspiration from Clarksville itself instead of the imaginary village in Provence that Van Gogh depicted under the pulsating sweeps and swirls of a night sky. Instead, Aka-Bashorum’ mural features the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center and the Montgomery County Courthouse, both nearby.

In today’s pandemic-hampered travel circumstances, it’s far safer to admire the mural (formal name: #STARRYNIGHTCLARKSVILLE) from the adjacent sprawling parking lot than it is to make a trek to New York City. You can save seeing Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” until times are better. In the meantime, learn more about Aka-Bashorum, who was born in Nigeria and reared in Oklahoma, at his DBO Gallery in Clarksville.

Trip Planning Resources:, and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s new book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available at

Published January 8, 2021

knoxville daily sun

Knoxville Daily Sun
2021 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy