When: Saturday, December 8th, 10am – 5pm                                           Where: 309 E. Main St., Johnson City, TN (old JC Penney’s building)

Looking for unique gifts for the holidays? Stop by the JCPA Holiday Splash Art Market to find one-of-a-kind fine arts and handcrafted items for everyone on your list! Artisans will offer everything from fiber art and jewelry to paintings and photography (and much more!). Enjoy light refreshments and live music while you shop! View a complete list of artisans at the end of this post.

In an effort to give back to local artists, JCPA is hosting the art market and waiving the vendor fee for participants. In place of the fee, JCPA has asked artists to donate one item for a silent auction to help raise funds for future public art projects. The silent auction will be held during the JCPA Holiday Splash Art Market, and attendees may bid on these items anytime throughout the event!

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Stop by Bee Locke’s booth for a look at her beautiful burned wood and leather items. Locke designs each piece with intricate details and completes each one by hand. You’ll find kitchenware, wooden jewelry, wood boxes, photo frames, original artwork, and more!
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Do you think more abstractly? Kelly Swift’s abstract acrylic and mixed media paintings combine eye catching colors in exciting ways. Swift explains that her paintings “convey the landscape around [her] and [her] inner world.”
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Time to accessorize! Grab some wearable art at Emily Parris’ booth for some extra color and style. Parris will offer boutique style women’s clothing, long sleeve and short sleeve t-shirts, and silk and rayon scarves and shawls, among other items. Her items are made using traditional and non-traditional tie dye and shibori techniques.
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Who can resist gemstones, beads, and pearls? Linda McCulley’s handcrafted sterling silver jewelry would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s collection. McCulley also uses vintage pieces and found objects in her designs.
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Bold and bright colors are sure to greet you at Jason Flack’s booth. His unique, contemporary style shows through in his expressive paintings and drawings.   Flack explains, “My paintings stretch from cartoony landscapes to Haring-esque portraits of iconic figures.”
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One-of-a-kind clothing, aprons, bags, and accessories await you at the market! Lauren Houser collects all types of fabrics and garments and uses them to create her own clothing. She also upcycles already made garments into something new!
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Beautiful photos capture animals, rusting cars, and scenic views in the perfect light. Richie Hayward will have various sizes of his work available.
Tara Elouafi’s drawings create a visual experience using markers or paint. You won’t want to miss an opportunity to view her work!
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The market wouldn’t be complete without ceramics! Visit Emily Johnson at her booth for her glazed vases and other items.

No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find great gifts for yourself and others at the JCPA Holiday Splash Art Market. See below for more examples of what you will find there!

The market will coincide with the unveiling of new art in the breezeway between the King’s Centre and the old Massengill’s building (off S. Roan St.). Some of the new art pieces were completed by local high school students. In addition, JCPA will unveil a community art piece that community members have been contributing to throughout the year.

The market will be held in the old JC Penney’s building (309 E. Main St.) in downtown Johnson City. We hope to see you there!

JCPA Holiday Splash Art Market Artisan List:

Angelique Gibson – fiber arts
Becky Hope Mallory – indigo dyed fiber
Bee Locke – burned wood and leather
Brooke Day & Whitney Parkinson – upcycled objects
Eliza Coral – animal paintings, hand-painted items
Emily Johnson – ceramics
Emily Parris – fiber art, wearable art
Erica Freeman – pottery
Erin Brackett – reclaimed and created jewelry
Harlen Adams – wood
Heather Donovan – various textiles
Jason Flack – paintings, drawings
John Edgell – photography
Karen Hitchcock 
Kelly Jeanette Swift – mixed media, painting
Lauren Houser – sewing, design
Linda McCulley – jewelry
Logan McClelland – fiber art, functional pieces
Mary Nees – paintings
Matthew Hardman – woodworking, spray art
Rachel Slaughter – woven fiber
Richard Dwyer – turned wood
Richie Hayward – photography
Sarah Dorr – ceramics
Stacy Jones – acrylic paintings, jewelry
Tara Elouafi – drawings, paintings
Tommy Schuette – drawings


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Sheri Earnhart, art instructor and Johnson City Public Art Committee (JCPAC) member, assists with the coordination of JCPA’s traffic wrap program. This program turns ordinary traffic control boxes into works of art and relies on the talents of local youth to get the job done. Earnhart teaches private art lessons and is part of the team of artists at MOMAC studio in Johnson City. In her post below, she describes her experience with the traffic wrap program and the Boys & Girls Club members who have helped make the program possible.

To begin, here is a small blurb courtesy of Robin Crumley, president & CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Johnson City:

“Boys & Girls Club (BGC) had so much fun working with Sheri Earnhart and her team to create two designs for the light boxes in downtown Johnson City.  The community helped to donate supplies and paper. BGC members, staff, intern and board members all came together throughout several months to make this happen. Activities included a review of light box layouts; to creative ideas in focus groups with the kids; to design work and artistry from club members, alumni and staff; to final City photography for wrap.” 

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Boys & Girls Club member and intern measure a traffic box.

As the committee member overseeing this ongoing project that beautifies the traffic control boxes in town with art, I’ve had a really wonderful time getting to know the people making the art happen and helping foster the creativity of our local youth.  It is truly inspiring to see them all at work.  

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Board member helps club member with paint.

The BGC members really landed on a great concept promoting both our great pollinators and safety.  I think their art will make a great addition to the Johnson City pollination corridor.

-Sheri Earnhart, JCPA member

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Boys & Girls Club members work on traffic wrap art.


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Johnson City Public Art Committee member, Chasidy Hathorn, donates art supplies.


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City of Johnson City staff member prepares to photograph the art.



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Mary Nees, retired adjunct from the East Tennessee State University Art Department, is a current member of the Johnson City Public Art Committee. She is also a professional artist; her work embodies the idea of the conceptual landscape and is created through a variety of methods, from mixed media and drawings to paintings and printmaking. In her post below, Nees discusses the origins and evolution of public art. She explains the importance of making art accessible to the public as it can help build communities, beautify surroundings, and impact individuals in a positive way.

Question from a Johnson City-ite: What is this thing called “Public Art” I’m hearing about?

Answer from a JC Public Art Committee member: The idea of “public art” is not new and in fact is older than our hills. Any assumption that ‘real art’ is found only in high-end galleries or on the walls of museums for the price of your admission is actually a modern prejudice.

Consider, for example, the lyrical drawings on cave walls by primitives. There were no wine and cheese fetes set up for the viewing of that work. The images were scratched out and presented for view by locals in their common life.

Or think about the medieval altarpieces and storied frescoes. These were made for simple churches in small towns all over Europe to teach those who could not read about big biblical themes.

In both these historical periods, art served a very public purpose. It’s presence exemplified, and left us a legacy of what each culture considered the root of reality. And all this work was free and accessible.

In the last several centuries (and for a host of political, philosophical and cultural reasons) artwork has been closeted inside expensive buildings under lock and key. Art has become “nice but not necessary” to most, or confusing and elitist to many.

Yet, even in current times aesthetic expression still strives for a public viewing. The amazing mural program in the city of Philadelphia began as an effort to encourage and train spray-can graffiti artists to move from defacing public spaces to enhancing them. When an organized effort is made to put quality artwork “out there” we all win.

Mary Nees Blog Pic

As a committee, we have an expectation therefore that art can move people, that it can improve our common spaces, that it represents common realities and that it can lift our vision as a city. And so, we are investing in work that enhances our public spaces. Look around Johnson City; you’ll see some exciting examples.





High School Mural 1
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.

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.


Train Mural
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.

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.




Join the Johnson City Public Art (JCPA) Committee at Tipton Gallery (126 Spring Street) on August 3rd at 5:55 p.m. for the inaugural 5 x 5 Exhibition and Fundraiser. Artists from across the region are invited to show their work for a fundraising effort to benefit the Boys and Girls Club and JCPA.

All 5 x 5 artworks will be sold for $25 and will be generously donated by the artist to the 5 x 5 fundraising cause.

We appreciate every artist and the generosity and time that comes with donating a piece of art. Many of us on the JCPA committee are working artists and understand that asking for a donated piece of art is a request often made by organizations in their fundraising effort. We understand the magnitude of this request. Aside from fundraising for the Boys and Girls Club and JCPA, an additional goal of 5 x 5 is to introduce potential art collectors to a broad group of artists and hopefully through this event, create a dialog around art in Johnson City.


  • Any working artist is welcome to participate.
  • No more than 5 entries per artist.
  • Art must be original.
  • Art must meet the 5 x 5 dimension and be securely mounted to the board provided by JCPA.
  • Please avoid the use of profanity or nudity. Although we value your freedom of expression, this is a family-friendly event; and we, the JCPA committee, reserve the right to reject art that may be deemed inappropriate.
  • Buyers agree to leave their purchased artwork for the duration of the event.
  • Any unsold artwork will be returned to the artist, or, if agreed upon, will be offered for sale at the next 5 x 5 exhibition and becomes the property of JCPA
  • All art must be submitted by July 20th to the following location:
    Nancy Campbell (423-434-6080): Johnson City Public Works 601 E. Main St., Johnson City, TN, 37601 (you may submit your art by mailing to this address or dropping it off in person)

Sign up to donate your work for the 5 x 5 Exhibition and Fundraiser on the JCPA website at×5-event-at-tipton-gallery/

5 x 5 panels are provided to every participating artist. Please indicate how you would prefer to receive your panel(s) when you sign up to participate on the 5 x 5 submission form.


  • Artwork submission deadline, July 20th
  • Opening reception, August 3rd

All artists are encouraged to attend the opening reception on August 3rd at Tipton Gallery. We want to celebrate you and express gratitude for your participation. Without you it would not be possible.

For details please contact Sarah Nobles at



Are you an artist in Washington County?

Request a Listing in the Washington County Artists Brochure!

The Johnson City Public Art Committee invites any artist living or working in Washington County, Tennessee to request a listing in a brochure showcasing the county’s artists. The brochure will be published by JCPA and is intended to:

  • Provide exposure for the artists in our area
  • Let the public know what types of art are being produced locally (general type(s) of work will be listed for each artist)
  • Provide artist contact info (website, email, etc.) for those looking to purchase art 

Visit the Johnson City Public Art website to request a listing:

Questions? Please contact Cheyenne Kumbhare at

JCPA Logo 2 New Font with Subtitle - Spacing Changed Cropped


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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.

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.

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.
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!

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.

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.