Franklin Elementary Joins the Ten Thousand Flowers Project

Gibson points at hallway wall indicating where children should paint, as 3 children with paintbrushes look on
  • Franklin Elementary
Susannah Gentry

Prekindergarten through fourth-grade students at Franklin Elementary have joined communities across the nation in a collaborative art project that, so far, spans 16 states with the ultimate goal of being part of a painted garden of 10,000 flowers.

Prekindergarten through fourth-grade students at Franklin Elementary have joined communities across the nation in a collaborative art project that, so far, spans 16 states with the ultimate goal of being part of a painted garden of 10,000 flowers.

The Ten Thousand Flowers Project is the brainchild of artist Tim Gibson, whose vision is to bring communities together to create a mile-long mural filled with ten thousand colorful flowers.

Gibson led all of the amazing student artists in creating a collaborative mural within the school, said Franklin Elementary art teacher Jennifer Alvarado, who explained that the mural is actually a lot of smaller murals that will essentially link the participating communities, eventually reaching the 10,0000 flower goal and spanning the United States.

“We are excited that he has added Franklin, Tennessee, to his project through our school building,” said Alvarado, who heard about the project and immediately loved the idea of using it to build community and bring joy. “I love giving students the opportunity to meet artists and collaborate with them to create a lasting piece of art as a result. Bringing our school together as a community makes my heart so happy.”

Gibson arrived on campus November 10 and began prepping the walls, sketching out the flower designs and creating a giant paint-by-numbers. Students were brought a class at a time to lend a hand by painting and leaving their personal mark on the mural. After the entire space was painted by students and staff, Gibson touched up the mural by creating a bold outline and adding special details. “The final project will become part of the Ten Thousand Flowers Project and will be a beautiful, lasting legacy at our school,” Alvarado said.

Funds for this special project were made possible by a 2019 fundraiser concert for related arts projects hosted by Franklin Elementary parents Jay and Mark O’Shea, who together form the contemporary country music duo O’Shea.

For more information about this amazing project, visit www.tenthousandflowersproject.com

Tim Gibson stands in school hallway with students painting the walls behind him.