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Collaboration Success for Master of Fine Arts Alumni and Sculpture Professor

Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art Professor Marc Moulton and MFA alumni Duke Oursler have collaborated to create Genesis, the first permanent installation of its kind for Founders Park in Johnson City, TN.

Founders keeper: First permanent art piece goes up at Johnson City’s newest park

Johnson City Press

“If you’re a frequenter of downtown Johnson City’s Founders Park, get used to seeing the names ‘Duke Oursler’ and ‘Marc Moulton. ‘The two artists have their signatures, in steel, stuck to the side of their piece “Genesis,” which was installed at the Sevier Street entrance of the park. Set to become illuminated, weighing in at a collective 3,000 pounds and reaching a height of 15 feet, the new piece is set to be an eye-catcher, and that’s before going into the details of its construction.

It’s made up of two pieces, a giant cone and a large sign that bears the park’s name with decorations of fauna and flora, tying in the envisioned theme.

It will be the first piece of permanent public art in the park, though several rotating piece of temporary art have graced the community space…”

Genesis came to life after Oursler and Moulton submitted a proposal to the The Public Art Committee of Johnson City, TN who sought proposals for an art project that incorporated identifying signage for the new Founders Park retention pond project in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. The artwork must withstand varied environmental conditions, including occasional high water. Johnson City is distinguished as a community that embraces art, the environment, commerce, science, community, and education. The budget for this project was $50,000.

The park will eventually become integrated into what is envisioned as a greenway plan, a zone of property between downtown Johnson City and the campus of ETSU that would include patches of pollinator plants, sites for public art, as well as functional art – benches, planters, educational kiosks and bike racks. Opportunities for community events include art workshops and workshops on native plants and animals, using Brush Creek as an outdoor classroom for children. Nearby is the future home to the Johnson City Farmers Market. The greenway plan is envisioned as both symbolic and practical: feeding ideas and commerce between community and university, supplying exchanges between town and gown, as well as physically nurturing the environment and providing a habitat for beneficial birds and insects.


Posted in Alumni Success, Archive, Faculty Success, Noteworthy