March 2, 2021
Animal sculpture scavenger hunt installed in downtown Johnson City
Fifteen bronze animal sculptures have been installed in various locations throughout downtown Johnson City. Art students in the East Tennessee State University Department of Art & Design designed and fabricated the sculptures under the direction of professor Travis Graves. Connect Downtown Johnson City and the Johnson City Public Art Committee coordinated the project, and a group of educators and a librarian from the Johnson City Public Library created a scavenger hunt entitled “Wildabout Walkabout” by developing clues for the location of each sculpture. Scavenger hunt clue cards are available at various downtown businesses and through curbside pickup at the Johnson City Public Library. The clues may also be accessed on the Downtown Johnson City website at www.downtownjc.com/wildabout.
“The creativity found in the animal sculptures is outstanding, and we hope this scavenger hunt will draw families downtown to enjoy for many years to come,” said Nancy Fischman, Johnson City Public Art Committee chairwoman.
“The clues were designed to introduce the animals to the kids and were written for different age levels,” said Dianna Cantler, interim executive director of the Johnson City Development Authority. “Some will be more difficult than others, but we anticipate that all ages will learn a bit more about animals that are indigenous to our region.”
The sculptures are located around the Johnson City Public Library, in and around King Commons, and along Main and Market Streets. The mural in King Commons entitled “Wildabout” inspired the types of animals that were selected for the sculptural works, and nearly all of the animal types chosen for the sculptures are also represented in the mural. Animal types utilized in the sculpture designs include the black bear, beaver, osprey, turtle, rock bass, ladybug, and cicada, among others.
The “Wildabout Walkabout” is the perfect activity to enjoy during upcoming spring breaks and beyond, as the sculptures are permanently installed downtown.