Downtown reaping benefits of murals

Published 7:53 am Friday, November 17, 2017

Work from local high school students is being heavily promoted through Historic Downtown Elizabethton.

Karen Hitchcock, with Blue River Studio, recently showcased a mural located outside the business that was painted by Emily, a student at Elizabethton High School.

“She really did an incredible job with the piece,” Hitchcock said Wednesday evening.

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The eye-catching appeal of angel wings signifies what has become a resurgence of the youth being involved with downtown beautification. Students with the Bartleby Program have started creating murals throughout downtown as a way to attract more positive connotations with the town and make the scene more inviting, according to EHS student Sarrah Eggers, who is spearheading the murals’ project.

“My project was initially categorized as the beautification of Elizabethton,” Eggers recently told the Elizabethton Star. “Of course that is happening through the murals which is my primary focus right now. Alleyways generally have a negative connotation and are dark and scary. Filling them with life and color and happiness will takedown that connotation. The murals will also draw much needed attention to the downtown area.”

Seeing the youth be involved with downtown has been a sight to see, according to Hitchcock. Along with the murals, students were also involved with the recent downtown art walk and are working with Carter County Tourism to revamp the Downtown Elizabethton Walking Tour.

“I think they have done a great job,” Hitchcock said. “They’ve been real excited about dressing up downtown and you can there’s a sense pride of with their work.”

And the sense of pride continues to brew with Blue River Studio. Working alongside the Elizabethton Arts & Cultural Alliance, the Karen and her husband, Tom, have been active in different projects downtown, including the placement of mosaics in the alleyway near Sweetsie Treats.

With one mosiac already being placed, Karen indicated she hopes to have the second of five more completed around Christmas. Once the mosaics are placed, focus will then be shifted to the alleyway near Jiggy Ray’s Pizzeria.

Along with the community support, Karen thanked City of Elizabethton for their compliments and their encouragement of the project to assist downtown.

Karen added the mural at Blue River Studio will receive some additional flair in the coming months, but encourages citizens to stop by and take a photo to showcase their support of the initative.

To learn more about the artistic activities happening downtown, visit, Blue River Studio on Facebook or call (423) 213-5060.