Second mosaic adds color to downtown breezeway

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Whether it be a casual stroll on a weekday or coming in for the weekend cruise-in, pieces of artwork are starting to become more visible for the public throughout downtown Elizabethton.

Following up months of work, the beautification of the breezeway between Sweetsie Treats and The Coffee Company recently received another key addition in the form of a mosaic highlighting historical concepts for the City of Elizabethton. Tuesday morning, artists that worked on the piece, Downtown Business Association and beautification committee members joined together to celebrate the second piece of an ongoing project underway at the breezeway.

Karen Hitchcock, owner of Blue River Studio, was one of the three artists that completed the piece. Diane Allen and Jerry Hooper also worked on the piece that includes the old Tweetsie railroad, Elizabethton’s former water tower and a rendering of Bemberg in the background.

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Hitchcock added that the mosaic also includes rocks from the Tweetsie Trail.

Currently, the plan is to have six mosaics scattered throughout the area. Along with the pieces of artwork, city officials were able to plant new trees and seating in the area to give individuals a more pleasant atmosphere when visiting that portion of downtown. Another recent addition was the installation of a restroom facility in the back parking lot of the restaurants as you exit the breezeway.

Hitchcock said the goal to help add some color to the downtown area has been successful. And the community has done their part to assist the effort.

“The support for the project has been good, especially through the DBA, beautification committee and ElizAlliance,” she said.

Over a year’s worth or work has been brewing to add extra allure to downtown in the form of the arts. Along with the mosaics, various murals have also appeared at businesses — spearheaded by students from Elizabethton City Schools. Adding on the work done at the Bonnie Kate Theater and Blue River Studio, the culture has been able to see an increase with art walks and various activities going on at the theater and studio.

But with a variety of projects underway, another idea coming from the planners is revitalizing the breezeway near Jiggy Ray’s.

Hitchcock said the goal is to place tables and planters through the area. The Bartleby Program through ECS is also looking to lend a helping hand with quilts that could be donned throughout the area. The pieces of art will be created by students.

But overall, the year has been quite busy for Hitchcock and Blue River. The studio recently moved its operation to 527 Elk Avenue inside the Ritz mini mall and indicated that traffic has picked up. Hitchcock added they will continue to offer the services they had at their previous location.

To learn more, visit the Blue River Studio LLC Facebook page or call (585) 406-3255.