Completed in September 2022, Stopping by Woods offers a moment of calm reflection for passersby at a busy intersection on the outskirts of downtown Johnson City. Following a request for qualifications and competitive proposal process, artist Ernesto Maranje’s design was selected for the project. The selection committee was highly impressed by Maranje’s unique artistic style, his ability to bring a graceful flourish of plant life into all elements of his design, and his appreciation for the convergence of art and the natural world. Learn more about Maranje and his work at https://www.maranje.com/.
The mural features native wildlife including the black bear, white-tailed deer, and several birds – the yellow-breasted chat, red-headed woodpecker, and pine warbler.
Spread across the side and back walls of Fire Station 4 on the edge of Kiwanis Park, the mural faces University Pkwy. and Market St. The design is intended to serve as a point of inspiration for the surrounding community, relating to the themes of resilience, growth, and transformation. The constant growth and metamorphosis present in nature parallel the personal and societal changes that propel the community forward. The two mammals represented in the mural also serve as symbolic elements as the black bear is often associated with courage, strength, and authoritativeness, and the deer is a symbol of gentleness, sensitivity, and intuition.