NEW FRAMED MURALS CREATED BY LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WILL DECORATE DOWNTOWN BREEZEWAY

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Michelle Treece, Johnson City Public Art Committee (JCPAC) member and retired teacher, has served on JCPAC since last fall. Treece taught for nearly 33 years in the Johnson City School system, and is greatly interested  in ensuring that the youth in our community have opportunities to become involved in public art. “I have a special interest in seeing our local youth make positive contributions to our community,”  Treece explains. In her post below, she reveals one of the exciting new mural installations that will be placed in one of the main breezeways downtown. Treece assisted with coordination of the mural project along with local school teachers. 

A walk around downtown Johnson City, TN will reveal splashes of art…. art in various forms of color, a variety of art mediums, and various levels to the viewing eye.  Johnson City has spectacular art above the eye level as in the new Johnson City sign. One can find beautiful artistic bridge rails all along the waterway right below eye level at King Commons. At the downtown entrance to Founders Park, below eye level, one can see some amazing artwork on the ground right under your feet! Standing in that spot, looking forward into the park all along the horizon, you will find a plethora of sculptures close up and off in the distance, as far into the park as you can see.

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Genesis – Marc Moulton & Duke Oursler

Downtown Johnson City is covered with art on all levels!! If you love metal works, we have it! If you love mixed media art, we have it! If you love nature coupled with the engineering “art” of storm water mitigation and conservation, we have it! If you love the art of music and the live outdoor music at Founders Park or the JC Drum Circle at the pavilion, we have it!! Anyone who loves art should have something to love in downtown Johnson City.

This blog is about the art that one can see at eye level, right in front of you! Murals! Murals have been adding a palate of color to the once monotonous, brick walls of the downtown area.

 

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Untitled – Don Bledsoe

Downtown murals are located along the walkways by some of the downtown shops, restaurants, coffee shops and music venues, and in King Commons – the latest addition to the collection. This mural is a colorful representation of several themes from Johnson City. This mural, entitled Wildabout displays an artistic reflection of our concern for flood water control, our strong desire for bee pollination and conservation, local plant and animal life, and local architectural landmarks. The artist, Ian Brownlee, was selected from more than 30 applicants to complete this mural.

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Wildabout – Ian Brownlee

Many of our locals may have noticed that some downtown framed canvas murals have been removed. These murals, the winning projects from a mural competition during a Blue Plum event several years ago, were on display for a limited time and will be replaced soon.  I am very excited to say that the new murals have been completed by high school students and a high school graduate of local schools in the Johnson City area. An invitation was extended to Topper Academy of Science Hill High School, Providence Academy, and an individual resident of Johnson City. All artists eagerly accepted the challenge!  (An invitation was also extended to University High; however, they were not able to participate.) Groups were provided a simple idea – create a mural that reflects the heart of downtown Johnson City. On-going communication occurred with all groups and several pictures of progress were shared. The resulting murals are amazing! These teachers and students involved were able to complete their projects before the last day of school!

Watch for an upcoming unveiling of the next eye-level installment of several downtown murals – artwork by our own local residents! I think you will be very pleased! Enjoy!

“Art does not reproduce what we see; rather is makes us see.” – Paul Klee

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One of the murals created by local high school students captures a sunset above our mountain landscape.

 

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FUN WITH JOHNSON CITY PUBLIC ART AT INSTA-CRAFTY

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Visit Johnson City Public Art at Insta-Crafty (the handmade market) on May 20th from noon to 6pm. We’ll be at the Pavilion at Founders Park in downtown Johnson City.

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.

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Above is an example of the abstract watercolor you can create at the JCPA table. Make your piece unique by blowing through straws to move the paints!

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.

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On the tour, you will see some of the City’s permanent art pieces like the one pictured here. This sculpture, entitled “He Stopped and Turned to the Light”, was purchased and donated to the City by Lynda Wexler. This piece was created by artist Charlie Brouwer.
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Other pieces such as the one pictured above are part of our rotational art exhibit. This sculpture is entitled “Stepped Tower” and was created by artist Larry Millard. It is on exhibit in Johnson City from 2017-2019.

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!

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Pick up some info on the current sculpture exhibit and the JCPA committee.

We look forward to seeing you on May 20th at Insta-Crafty.

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Find out more about other JCPA projects at our informational table! Our committee is involved in a wide range of public art efforts. The quote stone that you see here is one of several on the new “Quote Walk” downtown, a project that will expand in the near future with the addition of ten new quote stones.