Dip your toes into Northeast Tennessee starting with some downtown urban exploration. Johnson City is seeing its’ own art renaissance explode all over town in the form of wall murals and sculptures. Here’s a sneak peek of our favorite murals to take a stroll by with the family for some one-of-a-kind photo ops, history, and local eats!
Johnson City’s “Wagon Wheel” mural features a play on the popular country song along with a glimpse of a Dr. Enuf bottle that stands out vibrantly to locals. With the Blue Ridge Mountain rolling hills in the backdrop, this new mural emits a strong sense of Appalachian culture only found in Northeast Tennessee.
Go. All. Out.
The Downtown Square Breezeway is Johnson City’s newest developmental renovation! With citywide Wi-Fi (Gig All Out) and the complimentary patio furniture, the breezeway makes for a great place to catch up with friends or work remotely while sipping a coffee from the nearby Dos Gatos Coffee Bar.
Around the corner, you will find a hidden gem with a walk-up window and outdoor seating. Grab lunch at Taste Budz, and enjoy a sampling of hometown country cookin’ like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. Take a gander and snap a pic with the custom Martin Luther King Jr. Dream mural.
Johnson City Public Art Committee Mural Project
There is a 10-panel mural project you can hunt for along your urban outing. Local schools, along with the Johnson City Parks and Recreation art group, participated in contributing art that expresses what they find valuable about Johnson City. The unique attribute found in all of these murals is the Brush Creek stream that winds throughout downtown.
The city is also hosting an “Eyes on the Prize” scavenger hunt all around downtown through November 30, 2020 where you and your family can add an element of fun to your walk.
Adjacent to the Atlantic Ale House, you will find a glorious mural in King Commons made up of local architecture and wildlife found in the region. The piece was composed by Ian Brownlee, an Asheville artist, and brings a large sense of outdoor culture to the area. Grab a local craft brew from the ale house and marvel at this unique piece of artwork. This one makes for an extra fun family photo op!
We’ll Always Be Together
This mural-in-progress lies at the Fountain Plaza intersection down the sidewalk from Freiberg’s German Restaurant. The artist DAAS expresses “friendship, togetherness, memories of childhood, and love for the natural environment” in this unique piece. The image suggests that the children are planting flowers as a representation of “growing roots in the community in which they are raised,” and “no matter where they go later in life, they will always be together in spirit.”
My hope for tomorrow is…
Art gives a community a sense of place that not only embraces its’ own culture but defines and recognizes its’ very worth. The art boom taking off around downtown Johnson City, Tenn., is a welcomed breath of fresh air for both locals and tourists alike, inspiring a feeling of hope. The modern renovation combined with the historical brick structures around the city leaves a blank canvas for artists to create their ideas upon. What is your hope for tomorrow?