Muralist Kevin Bate seeks to ‘dazzle’ with next project

Authored By seanphippster

Over the past year, muralist Kevin Bate has helped raise close to $40,000 for local muralists as a part of the McCallie Walls Mural Project. However, with so many beautifully rendered murals now lining blighted buildings along the McCallie corridor, there’s one glaring omission thus far in the project: a Kevin Bate signature mural.

But a recent collaboration with Bate and Causeway might make it possible for him to add his own mural to the ongoing project this spring.

A goal of $5,000 has been set, with about $1,700 raised thus far.

“At the risk of sounding selfish, this one is for me,” Bate said. “I want to do something radically different from the faces.”

And there’s special incentive to give as a part of #CHAgives Day today. Through midnight, anyone who donates $20.60 or more will have their name permanently included within the mural. In addition, Causeway and the United Way of Greater Chattanooga will match all donations during the day up to 20 percent.

Click here for more information on donating.

The rain has played havoc this year with several projects Bate has been involved with. This includes the ongoing memorial to honor the five fallen service members from the July 16 attacks.

“I’m quite literally 40 days behind,” he said. “The end of this week will be about 40 rain days. The worst part is that even if it’s threatening, I can’t do anything because it might wash away and ruin everything below it.”

The fallen five mural is a gift from Bate to the city, and he intends to shake things up with the next mural. 

Bate said the next project will draw inspiration from dazzle camouflage. This painting style-often called “razzle-dazzle”-was used primarily during World War I to hinder attacks by visual distortion. Ships and planes were painted with jagged lines, often brightly colored or black and white. The design would later inspire Cuban artists such as Picasso. 

“Since high school, I’ve had this love affair with dazzle camouflage,” he said. “All they were trying to do is screw with people’s vision. In the stuff I do, I try to mess with people’s heads, too. When you’re far away it looks like something, but when you’re close, it’s not what you thought it was. I love the patterns, the colors.”

Click here for examples of dazzle camouflage.

Bate’s mural work can be seen throughout Chattanooga, including Martin Luther King Boulevard, McCallie Avenue, Market Street and Frazier Avenue. More of his work-including paintings and signs-can be seen here.