Bursting with Pride Mural

106 Franklin Street, Clarksville, TN 37040


One of the most unique pieces of civic art in Clarksville is located downtown on Franklin Street, a food and entertainment hub of the city. Because of its prime location, thousands of people pass by and stop to admire this work of art. Since it measures 10,000 square feet, it is hard to miss.

Bursting with Pride is a 10,000-square-foot mural created by artist and Austin Peay State University alum Ricky Deel in the summer of 2000. 

The mural depicts 15 buildings in Clarksville of historical and architectural significance that were damaged by the, now infamous, F4 tornado that struck Clarksville on Friday, Jan. 22, 1999. The tornado ravaged the city, damaging 562 buildings and destroyed 128 more.

In the mural, the buildings are randomly placed; separated by trees, under a cloud-filled, blue sky in a panoramic view. As impressive as the sheer size of the piece is, equally impressive is the level of detail painted into the subjects and background, which becomes clear upon closer inspection. 

It is painted on the side of an older, three-story brick building that overlooks a parking lot adjacent to the Roxy Regional Theatre.

Deel painted the mural in the summer every day for three months. Besides the size, he said the most difficult part of the process was dealing with the summer heat.

While thousands of people still walk down Franklin Street and marvel at Bursting with Pride, it has been a long time since Deel has personally seen his work.

“It’s been a little hard to actually get back to Clarksville. I moved to Orlando for a while, then up to Champaign,” Deel said. “Now I am in Seward, Alaska. My parents, from time to time, see the mural in an ad or on television and let me know.”

by Marlon Scott