Kevin Bate

McCallie Walls Mural Project: The World's First Drive Through Gallery

When was the last time you saw something beautiful on your drive in to work? If you're like me, it's probably been awhile. One day, driving on McCallie, I found myself thinking, "Wouldn't it be better if this wasn't ugly?" I'd been painting murals in Chattanooga for a while so I had an idea of what good public art could do for an area. An ugly area is no place to live. I believed this area could be made beautiful for everyone who experienced it and I believed it could be done with art.

About Kevin

Kevin Bate moved to Chattanooga in 1994. He had flirted with a career in art a few times (bought it drinks, took it out on Valentine’s Day, etc.) but was never quite able to commit to it.

In 2011, all of that changed. Married with a newborn, Kevin decided (for some crazy reason) that this was the perfect time to attempt another launch of his art career. One afternoon while his infant son was sleeping, Kevin snuck out to the shed to look for art supplies. What he found instead was plywood, house paint and one inch brushes.

Understandably, his first paintings were quite large. This is probably why he jumped so quickly to murals. Since then, his works have appeared everywhere from the Southside, MLK Blvd, the North Shore and venues such as Track 29.

Kevin, who abhors the traditional art-speak artist’s bio, is currently curating The McCallie Walls Project, a neighborhood beautification and paying-artists-a-living-wage-for-their-work project near Highland Park. Lately, he has sent fan mail to Chuck Close and received props on Instagram from reluctant Chattanooga native, Usher.

Kevin Bate

Muralist and Curator,
The McCallie Walls Project