BHM: Tramel Fain makes Louisville colorful


Tramel Fain

Tramel Fain poses with one of his portraits. Fain is a local black artist with murals around Louisville. Photo courtesy of Tramel Fain.

Macy Waddle

When The Fund for the Arts posted the application for the 2019 Imagine Mural Festival, artist Tramel Fain was intrigued. Originally from Johnson City, Tennessee, Fain moved to Louisville eleven years ago and was looking to expand his work throughout the community. 

After thorough review of his design, he was selected as one of fourteen artists to display their art in Smoketown, one of Louisville’s historically Black neighborhoods.

They left the idea up to the artist, of course it had to be approved, but I wanted to keep it kind of focused on coming from that community and things like that,” Fain said. 


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After the Civil War, many Black Kentuckians sought out opportunities in Louisville and attainable housing was found in Smoketown. It is the only neighborhood in Louisville that still holds true to its early roots. The Imagine Mural Festival in 2019 sought to honor this neighborhood through artwork. To view all murals, click here

As for Fain, he got his inspiration from his upbringing. “I just kind of wanted to show an educational path in a different way besides the normal way to promote education. Our family was involved with education and displaying how education was important,” he said. 

One of Fain’s paintings of the late basketball star, Kobe Bryant. Bryant was a five time NBA champion, eighteen
time all star and league MVP. Photo courtesy of Tramel
Fain. (Tramel Fain)


Fain attended Full Sail University and earned a degree in computer animation. “Art was something natural, I’ve just been doing it all my life,” he said. Along with landscape painting, he also pursues digital art and hopes to expand into 3D modeling. 

He draws inspiration from all different aspects of his life. “I am kind of diverse with that, I do like to paint influential people that represent some of the values that I hold. I do a lot of portraits and things, but I’m trying to move away from some of that,” he said. He is especially inspired by music and looks for strong, influential individuals in order to create.

Fain is working on pursuing projects with the African American Museum and is working on obtaining a gallery to display his work. He hopes to have more murals around the community; he currently has three, one in Smoketown, Jefferson Community College (2020) and Jeffersonville Aquatic Skate Park (2021). You can find all of these on his website, where he also sells both digital prints and paintings. 

Another painting of Fain’s, Bull’s player Micheal Jordan. Photo courtesy of Tramel Fain. (Tramel Fain)

He advises future artists to not compare themselves to what they see on social media. “Inside of putting self doubt into your head, work on yourself and try to get better with each project you do. Trying new things will help you expand your artwork. Comparing yourself to other established artists is hard because they’ve already put in the work and they’re reaping the benefits of their hard work,” he said. 

You can find more of his art on his instagram @Tramel_Fain or on his website linked above.


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