Symbols | World
Books | Store | Blog
About | Contact

Tennessee Symbols of the Arts

More than half of Tennessee’s official cultural symbols are symbols of the arts, and half of its symbols of the arts are songs. Not surprisingly, it is the only state to designate songwriting the official state art form.

Art Form songwriting 2003
Song Rocky Top 1982
Song The Pride of Tennessee, Tennessee Waltz, When It’s Iris Time in Tennessee 1996
Song Smoky Mountain Rain 2010
Song Tennessee (by Vivian Rorie) 1992
Song Tennessee 2011
Song The Tennessee in Me 2023
Song Copperhead Road 2023
Public School Song My Tennessee 1955
U.S. Bicentennial Song Fly Eagle, Fly! 1976
U.S. Bicentennial March Song The Tennessee Salute 1975
Bicentennial Rap Song A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap 1996
Bicentennial School Song My Home Will Always Be in Tennessee 1996
Fife and Drum Corps Watauga Valley Fife and Drum Corps 2014
Folk Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1980
Theatre Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville 1999
Outdoor Drama Production at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area 2009
Poem Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee 1973
Bicentennial Poem Who Are We 1997
Cowboy Poet Laureate David Nelson 2004
Christian Poet Laureate Colonel Hugh X. Lewis 2006
Painting “Tennessee Treasures” and “Tennessee Treasures Too,” by Michael Sloan 2007
Fine Art porcelain painting 1981
Artist Burton Callicott 1991
Artist-in-Residence H. R. Lovell 2000
Jamboree and Crafts Festival The Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival – House Joint Resolution 24 1997
Symbols of The ArtsIf you’re looking for a piece of Tennessee that you can display in your home, this is it.

Rather than wade through this hopeless mess, let me just mention my two favorites. Actually, I already mentioned songwriting. The other is the official fine art, porcelain painting.

he designation honors Blue Ridge pottery, a type of dishware manufactured by Southern Potteries, Inc. from the 1930s until 1957. Blue Ridge pottery was famed for its underglaze decoration and colorful, folksy patterns. Each piece was hand-painted, making it unique.

At one time, Blue Ridge pottery was the best-selling dinnerware in the United States. After World War II, it had to compete with lower-priced imports and inexpensive plastic dinnerware. However, Blue Ridge pottery remains a popular collectors item.

On second thought, there are a couple state songs worth commenting on. One song is titled “The Tennessee in Me.” I haven’t checked out the lyrics, but, judging by Tennessee’s political symbols, it sounds like a song that might have been written for Charles Manson. “Copperhead Road” has been described as a country rock anthem about a man making moonshine and later growing marijuana in Tennessee. Making moonshine and growing dope is a huge improvement over dropping bombs on people. The song even inspired an article in the propaganda rag Rolling Stone.

Tennessee is also one of the few states with an official painting. In fact, it has two official paintings, “Tennessee Treasures” and “Tennessee Treasures Too,” both by Michael Sloan. Both paintings depict Tennessee symbols. However, Sloan painted them before Tennessee adopted its official sniper rifle.

Tennessee HomeState Symbols of the Arts Home