Pay It Forward: From the canvas to the carpool

One of Knoxville's most beloved artists is paying it forward by donating his time to Rocky Hill Elementary school.

Mike Berry is one of Knoxville's most beloved artists.

Known as the "downtown artist," Berry uses a unique style to portray downtown landmarks in a night time setting.

"There's something about painting a nocturnal scene that I love," says Berry. "Painting downtown cafes and coffee shops are some of my favorites."

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His brush with art fame came while spending time in the church, kind of.

"When I was little, my mother used to bring a sketch pad to church to keep me from wiggling and to keep me still, so I've always been a drawer," says Berry

However, his greatest work doesn't come on the canvas it comes at the car lobby.

For the past four years Berry, who's daughter is a student at Rocky HIll Elementary, trades is pastels for a brighter yellow. Berry welcomes the parents and students at at the school each morning.

"He's kind of like the Postal Service," says Rocky Hill Principal Cory Smith.  "He's out there rain, snow and sleet."

After his daughter graduates, Berry hopes someone else will take his place and pay it forward.

You can find Berry's at The District Gallery in Bearden.  Cards and prints available at Rala at 112 Jackson Ave.