Stop by the Johnson City Public Art (JCPA) booth at Insta-Crafty and participate in our “Make One, Take One” activity! We’ll have all the materials ready for you to create two unique watercolor art pieces. One of your choosing will be incorporated into a display with the watercolors made by other participants, and the other you will take home with you. You do not have to consider yourself an artist to participate! These will be easy, abstract, and fun to make, and JCPA committee members will be available to assist if needed.
The JCPA committee will also offer tours of the current sculpture exhibit in and around Founders Park. Tours will begin at 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00 p.m. at the JCPA booth. Most of the sculptures you will see on the tour are on a rotational schedule; they are leased for two years from the artist and are then replaced by a new round of sculpture. If you haven’t had a chance to see the exhibit, or if you’ve passed by previously but would like to learn more about these artworks, come along on a tour! Each piece has its own story, meaning, and interpretation waiting to be discovered.
Also, take a moment between activities to find out more about JCPA. The JCPA committee engages in a wide array of projects that help to beautify our City and build community around public art. Sign-up sheets will be available for those who would like updates on the latest news about public art in Johnson City. The sheets will be categorized into various art types (i.e. murals, sculpture, etc.) so you can choose to keep posted on your specific area of interest. We’ll also be handing out JCPA stickers and brochures!
We look forward to seeing you on May 20th at Insta-Crafty.
On an overcast day in late December, Lewis Body, Jim Masterson, and Kacy Ganley traveled to Johnson City from the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee to begin installation of the artistic bridge rails at King Commons. Together, they placed each heavy section of railing at three different locations throughout the park. After the main components were locked in place, the floral embellishments were attached, adding an exciting burst of color to the railing design.
During a short break from the installation, Body, Masterson, and Ganley were kind enough to answer some of our questions about their experiences with designing and fabricating this unique railing. Body designed the railing and had taken the lead on its fabrication. When we inquired about the inspiration behind the railing design, Body indicated that he was influenced by several factors – the park’s focus on storm water mitigation, the themes present in the new mural at King Commons, and the general atmosphere and architecture surrounding the site. The blue color that was chosen for the coating was drawn from the shade of blue used in the mural and is meant to represent the waterways of Brush Creek. The paint colors used for the coneflower, iris, and milkweed flowers were custom mixed in house at the Metal Museum in Memphis.
Masterson commented that one of the most difficult aspects of the project involved aligning the railing layout with the actual layout of the park. He specified that “tracking the different curves” and the “logistics – the building of the whole” arose as challenges.
Body and the team agreed that one of the most exciting parts of the project had been “the challenge of getting it right”. He explained that they enjoyed “fitting [the railing] into its home – where it’s going to be”.
Masterson, Ganley, and Body have been involved in the fabrication of railings, gates, sculptures, and doors during their time at the Metal Museum. Their pieces are found throughout the southeast but range as far as California and Hawaii.
Now, we can enjoy their work right here in Johnson City.
Next time your downtown, stop by King Commons and check out the beautiful work completed by these talented artists and craftsmen!
The much-anticipated artistic bridge rails have finally been installed on three bridges at King Commons! These beautiful railings were designed and forged by a talented and creative team of artists at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. The work was commissioned early in 2017 after a selection committee gathered to review qualifications of more than 40 project applicants. The proposal submitted by Jim Masterson and his colleagues was accepted and the magic began.
The railing designs were largely based on several themes that are interwoven throughout the park at King Commons, which relate to conservation, pollination, and storm water mitigation. The major theme represented by the railings is pollination, as designer Kacy Ganley explains that a portion of the railing design is “emulating the flight of the bee”. Hand forged native flowers add an additional dimension of color and artistic flair to the railing design, with milkweed, iris, and coneflowers included in many of the railing sections.
The preliminary sketches for the railings reveal four bees in the design, flying across the length of the segment. Native flora is represented in the middle section (this sketch depicts the milkweed flower).
The theme of pollination aligns with the current “What’s the Buzz” program, a partnership between the Johnson City community and East Tennessee State University which focuses on the promotion and development of pollinator-friendly public spaces. Native plants like those included in the railing design are vital to the survival of bees and other pollinators, and are especially important as pollinators are experiencing a decline in numbers due to pesticide use, habitat loss, climate change, and other factors.
The bright blue color of the railings is representative of the network of waterways in the area and the flood mitigation efforts that were undertaken through the construction of King Commons. Ganley tells us that the color also emulates similar shades of blue that were utilized in Ian Brownlee’s mural at King Commons, providing a sense of cohesiveness throughout the artistic elements in the park.
The process leading up to installation was long but rewarding. Fortunately, the Metal Museum kept us posted on progress along the way, allowing us to get an inside peek at the railing’s construction. And their photographs really tell the story!
We’ll be bringing you more on the railings in our next post along with photos of the completed bridge rails in their permanent locations at King Commons, so check back with us soon!
Are you scrambling to find those perfect holiday gifts for your family and friends? If so, we might be able to help out! The Splash: Art and Craft Showcase Market will be coming to downtown Johnson City just in time for the holidays. Join us for some light refreshments while you shop for unique gifts made by local artisans.
The market will be held at the old JC Penney building on Dec. 1st – 3rd:
A wide variety of fine arts and crafts will be available at the market. You are sure to find something to please everyone on your list!
These are just a handful of the artists and items that will be available at the Splash market, so make sure to come by and see the rest! All proceeds from this event will go directly to the arts and crafts makers. And a silent auction (shhh!) with artworks from participating artists will take place all weekend with proceeds benefiting Johnson City Public Art (JCPA).
The Splash market is free and open to the public, so stop by and get ready for the holidays!
For more information contact Nancy Fischman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah Dorr at email@example.com
The presence of public art in Johnson City, Tennessee is growing! Since the Johnson City Public Art (JCPA) committee was instituted in 2012, appointed members have established a cohesive and collaborative support group for public art within the City. This group, along with support from City staff and other citizens, has “unveiled” many exciting projects, many of which you will find throughout the downtown area.
Founders Park has been filled with several rounds of leased art sculpture since 2013, and a brand new round was installed in May of this year. Not sure where all the sculptures can be found? Visit http://jcpublicart.com/map/ and view the “Biennial Sculpture Exhibition” map. When you have a free moment, grab a warm drink and take a leisurely stroll through the park and downtown area, where you will find these unique art pieces that may amaze, inspire, and maybe even confuse you just a little!
But wait, there’s much more to discover in downtown! Another exciting new piece is the mural at King Commons (the new park in front of the Johnson City Public Library) entitled Wildabout by artist Ian Brownlee. Brownlee spent much of the summer working on this masterpiece, and it is now complete! Filled with native flora and fauna as well as architectural landmarks from our area, the mural design provides you with a sense of place and is sure to capture your attention. Read more about Brownlee and his mural at http://jcpublicart.com/mural-at-king-commons/.
In addition to the mural, the King Commons park will soon become home to another public work of art –hand-forged iron bridge rails! Designed and constructed by Jim Masterson and his team at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, these rails will showcase native flowers that play a large role in pollination in our region. Stay tuned – we’ll let you know when you can visit these in person!
Other fun projects are still ongoing. One of these involves wrapping traffic control boxes (those art-deprived large metal boxes that sit at road intersections with traffic lights) with art designed by local schoolchildren.
JCPA also assists citizens with community initiated art projects. A group of community members from the Tree Streets have undertaken a street mural project, which will involve painting the intersection of Pine and Cherry St. to aid in traffic calming (and, of course, it will also help to brighten the place up a bit!). Are you interested in starting up a public art project? Read more about the process at http://jcpublicart.com/community-initiated-art/.
Let’s see, so what else can we tell you about public art in Johnson City?? Well, suffice it to say, there’s more. There’s much more to see and as always, many more projects in the making! JCPA is also busy working on events to promote public art in our area. One of the most recent events was a sculpture walk to view and discuss the latest leased art sculptures. For a recap of this event, visit JCPA committee member Chasidy Hathorn’s blog Sweet Sorghum Living.
We’ll be back with more updates on events and projects, so stay in touch! We’ll be bringing you details of JCPA’s first Splash: Fine Art and Craft Showcase Market that will take place Dec. 1-3 at the old JC Penney’s building downtown!