Elizabethton seeks artists for Downtown Mural Project: ‘History in the Making’

Published 3:16 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

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The city of Elizabethton is once again searching for an artist or an art team to create a mural in downtown.
In September, City Council members approved a contract with Miami, Florida-based artist Ernesto Maranje to create a mural on the side of a building along South Sycamore Street near East Elk Avenue.
Now, the city plans to establish another mural at 518 Hattie Avenue in downtown. The community mural project, known as History in the Making, is in partnership with the Main Street Elizabethton organization.
The project is being funded from a Tennessee Arts Commission Arts Building Communities Grant and the city of Elizabethton, according to a news release.
The History in the Making community mural will be displayed on six panels on the city’s surplus storage building, which was a historic ice production facility, the release states. The site is located near City Hall, the Elizabethton Covered Bridge and the Tweetsie Trail.
The request for proposal says city staff will prepare the building for the mural panels, which includes removing the original steel framing and remaining glass panes, adding replacement framework to install paintable, polyurethane Fypon panels, and cleaning and removing paint from the existing brick exterior. This prep work will restore the brick façade surrounding the windows to elevate historic preservation, the request states.
City Council members previously approved the project.
The artist or artists will work with about 18 to 24 community members to train in art skills and support the mural design process, the release states.
To be considered for the project, respondents are requested to submit proposals by Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. All questions should be directed to Purchasing Director Greg Workman at gworkman@cityofelizabethton.org.
For the mural at 109 South Sycamore Street, the city of Elizabethton received 20 responses and ultimately chose Maranje for the project. The mural, the first developed by the city of Elizabethton, will feature a Tennessee flora and fauna design.
The second mural, located on Hattie Avenue, will feature local history.
Assistant City Manager Logan Engle said Main Street Elizabethton’s Design Committee has been actively focused over the past few months on public art installations in the downtown area, specifically the creation of new public murals. She pointed to the success of similar mural projects in Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol.

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