One Artist’s Mission to Make Rankin the Most Painted Town in Texas

January 14, 2019 | By Kimya Kavehkar

Artist Matt Tumlinson has made it his mission to quite literally “paint the town” of Rankin, a West Texas community with a population of around 800.

The once-barren walls of Rankin, which lies in Upton County an hour south of Midland, are now decorated with Tumlinson’s quirky murals that often portray a Texan sense of humor.

One of his murals is of Willie Nelson painted in the style of Greek religious iconography. Another that’s “turned some heads,” as Tumlinson puts it, features two cowboys on horseback looking at a selfie stick. In another, John Wayne dressed a professor depicts his famous quote, “Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid,” as a graph on a chalkboard.

The October 2023 issue of Texas Highways "Tastes Like Home"

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