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.

 

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DECORATIVE BRIDGE RAILINGS AT KING COMMONS – PART II

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Lewis Body, Blacksmithing Apprentice (left), and Jim Masterson, Shop Foreman (right), in the midst of installing the artistic bridge rails at King Commons in downtown Johnson City.

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.

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Clamps help to hold the railing in place before it is bolted to the ground.

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.

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The bridge railing mimics the shades of blue in the waterways of Ian Brownlee’s mural “Wildabout”.

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”.

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Set-up is underway…

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.

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Milkweed flowers “pop” from the center of a railing segment.

Now, we can enjoy their work right here in Johnson City.

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Coneflower with a green backdrop. Do you see the bees on either side of the flower?
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Purple iris add another dimension of color.

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Next time your downtown, stop by King Commons and check out the beautiful work completed by these talented artists and craftsmen!