Cumberland University Unveils New Mural in Lebanon

Cumberland University in partnership with the Cumberland University Community Arts Council (CUCAC) announces the unveiling of a new mural in Lebanon. 

This mural was generously funded by a donation from Hal Bone, Cumberland Alum Class of 1998 and President and Owner of Bone & Associates. Mural artist Karlie Odum Cunha graduated from Cumberland with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2018 and a Master in Business Administration in 2020. She now owns and operates Wild Colors Creative Design Studio in Lebanon. 

“With everything we have been through this past year, I am thrilled to be part of something that is so uplifting,” said Karlie Odum Cunha. “Cumberland University grew me into the artist and business owner that I am today, and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to bring their vision of unity to life. Like the Phoenix, we as a community will rise together and continue rising until we reach our greatest potential.” 

The mural features Phoenix-like wings and the quote “We rise by lifting others” by Robert Ingersoll. The bottom of the mural shows hands reaching upwards, which symbolizes the diverse student body of Cumberland and how we are stronger together. 

In addition to donating the mural space and supplies, this gift will also be used to host art classes for local children on Cumberland’s campus through a partnership with CUCAC, Cumberland alums and local artists. 

“CUCAC recognizes the fine art programs within the Wilson County education system are beneficial to not only students but the community as well,” said Erin Rheinscheld, a member of CUCAC and Executive Director for Catherine’s Orchestra for All. “Due to the pandemic, art programs have not been at their full capacity and we want to reiterate to the students that what they do and love is important.” 

The Summer Arts Program is a week-long workshop to give students the opportunity to expand and explore the arts in which they’re passionate about. Students will receive hands-on instruction from professional artists, musicians, actors, dancers and educators within the community in the areas of dance, music, theatre and visual arts. The workshops will take place June 21-26 on Cumberland’s campus ending with a showcase of their work. 

“The arts are such an integral part of Cumberland University and I am thankful that the university can show our appreciation for our Lebanon community,” said Vice President for Advancement Staci Galentine. “The mural depicts a beautiful message that when we lift others up, we make the world a better place for all. I’m grateful that this project came together thanks to this generous gift, the talents of a CU alumni and the organization of CUCAC.” 

“The Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the Wilson County Murals Committee are honored to be a part of this mural,” said Jason Johnson, Director of Tourism at Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “With the We Will Rise mural, the artist has given us a great message in her art and the building owner and sponsor has given her a great location to showcase that art as well as contributing towards the future of the arts. These are the types of projects that our Paint WilCo murals initiative hope to see many, many more of in the future.”

The mural can be found on 626 East Main Street. An official ribbon cutting ceremony is set for Thursday, April 8 at 2p.m. in conjunction with Paint WilCo. 

For more information on registering for the Summer Arts Program, contact Mitchell Vantrease at  

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