A basic walking tour of downtown Knoxville is usually through Market Square to Gay Street, maybe skirting Krutch Park and, for the truly adventurous, down South Gay Street to the old Regas restaurant plaza and Knoxville Station. But you’ve probably walked right past one of the most eclectic and interesting spots in Knoxville, just off the square and situated behind the historic Miller’s Building.
Strong Alley, long known for its graffiti and seediness, has become the most photographed spot in downtown, according to photo-sharing social medium Instagram. Between Union and Wall Avenues, this menagerie of bold strokes and abstract street art draws curious eyes and wayward strollers. Businesses, as part of the Artist Alley Revamp, have allowed artists to adorn the aging brick with their colorful and personal masterpieces. Any Google search of Strong Alley will reveal that many of these pieces of art may be here today and gone tomorrow.
Strong Alley’s most famous creation, the 12-foot Dolly Parton mural, was defaced in April and was quickly repaired by local artist Megan Lingerfelt. It has drawn added attention to the alley as curious onlookers snap pictures and selfies.