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Community can help paint bee mural on May 1

The ground-level sections of the Bee Mural downtown will be outlined and ready for folks to paint in a community project on Saturday, May 1.


Painters age 5 and up can add their own touch to the mural in the paint-by-number-like project.

Artist Matt Willey has recently painted honey drips, chrysalises and a butterfly on the mural on the exterior wall of Hands On! Children’s Museum, facing the Azalea parking lot on Third Avenue East between North Main Street and King Street downtown.

There is no charge to participate. However, pre-registration is required to limit group size according to CDC guidelines. Masks and social distancing are also required. Reservation time slots are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis 10 to 11 a.m.; 11 a.m. to noon; and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Registration will close once all spaces have been reserved or by 8 p.m. Friday, April 30. To make a reservation visit

In case of poor weather on Saturday, May 1, reservations will automatically transfer to the following day, Sunday, May 2. In case of rain on May 2, registrants may reschedule for Saturday, May 8. Children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

Volunteers from the Arts Council of Henderson County will assist painters and provide single-use paintbrushes and cups of paint. Volunteers will also be available to take photos of painters and their “petals in progress.”

“This is an opportunity for the community to celebrate and participate in this artistic, colorful, legacy project,” said Kim Bailey, coordinator for the Bee Mural project. “In fact, it’s the community coming together to make the bee mural project possible in downtown Hendersonville that we are actually celebrating. Small groups of all ages will be able to “paint a petal” on the wall -- at ground level, no one on the lift -- with artist Matt Willey as this lovely, educational mural nears completion.”

A demonstration pollinator garden, planted last fall in the nearby areas of Azalea parking lot, where the work on the mural is most visible, is also coming to life as Willey, the bees, and springtime return. Landscape architect Tricia King of TTK Design transformed traffic islands at the site into a diverse habitat to serve as a working pollinator garden and demonstration plot for the community. In addition to butterfly weed and coreopsis, for example, springtime visitors will see indigo, sage, and white wood aster. All plants are labeled for easy reference, and King designed the pollinator-friendly garden to be handsome year-round. The garden bed directly below the mural will be planted once the mural is finished. “Bee hotels” to provide nesting sites for docile solitary bees such as mason bees will be installed this spring by Spriggly’s Beescaping.
Willey, who established his company, The Good of the Hive, with a mission to paint 50,000 honey bees on walls around the world, is excited to have community participation in painting the wall.

“The interest in the community for this special mural has been heartwarming,” he said. “So many folks and businesses have participated to make this project possible, and I really enjoy meeting people and helping them leave their mark on the mural.”