Mural and Street Art

It is wonderful to live in an area with a strong artistic community. This year, a new art mural was completed in Hendersonville to bring attention to our pollinators and their importance to our ecosystem. Artist Matt Wiley worked on this for months, beginning in 2019, with a pause during lockdown last year.

Mr Wiley’s organization, Good of the Hive, has a mission to paint 50,000 honey bees on walls around the world. The number is related to the number of honey bees in a healthy hive. I like the way he used the architecture of the building as part of the mural, with honey pooling on the window frames and dripping down the edges.

A close up shows a queen bee with lots of workers.

The mural extends around the side to the back of the building.

A large butterfly lands on an echinacea flower (or coneflower) on the back as well.

Down below the honeycomb, more bees are coming in with pollen on their legs. Under the windows, the life cycle of a butterfly is depicted.

On the ground, large white hydrangeas ‘grow’ from the bottom, and a small garden is newly planted.

A monarch perches on the side of a window, while a caterpillar makes ready to spin a cocoon. A large bee gathers pollen on a spray of pink flowers.

Read more about the Good of the Hive on a newspaper article HERE.

This wonderful mural honoring our veterans is one block off Main street. It was painted many years ago and is still nice.

There is a Coca-Cola mural on the side of a building on the north end of Main, and I cannot find the picture I took of it. The business moved away a few years ago and now the mural is deteriorating. On the side of the town’s old time soda shop, Mike’s on Main, a large Coca-Cola mural was restored a few years ago. It faces Third street.

Since 2003, the town of Hendersonville has had a Bearfootin’ Art Walk on Main Street. Each year, local businesses sponsor a bear to be painted by local artists and art groups. The bears are auctioned at the end of summer to benefit local charities. The first design used in 2003 was this one, with the bears on all fours. This one has scenes from around the area.

This one has a summer theme, don’t you love his bright green wellies?

The standing bear statue design was used in 2004. This bear is on display now.

The bears are on the corners of the intersections all down Main street downtown. Most intersections have four bears, one on each corner.

This one was from the second year of the Bearfootin’ Art Walk, and was purchased back by the Kilwin’s Ice Cream shop that sponsored it. It has been a fixture on Main street ever since.

The third bear statue design was a mother-baby.

The back of this bear is a flower show.

This one is a colorful design on white bears.

Many artists try to make the bears look realistic.

Other artists use the shapes in more of an interpretive design, like this one showing the progression of the seasons.

This artist made a distinction between the two bears, painting the little one yellow, but bringing the vines across both. For the past 15 years or so, artists have had their choice of which statue design to use, so all three shapes are now seen every year.

On the front of the children’s museum is a mosaic art piece that is really intricate. The tree in front makes it difficult to get a photo, but there is such detail in the design. Mountains, trees, rainbows, a waterfall and wildlife make up the mosaic.

Over in Brevard, a crosswalk mural was painted in March. I haven’t been over to see it yet, but I plan to make a jaunt over there soon. After all, it has been a year since I hit the Brevard thrift stores, LOL!! We also have a large community of artists that sell their wares in small shops on Main Street. Pottery, wood worked items, fiber arts, quilted items, glass works, sculptures, jewelry, hand woven baskets, photography, paintings and more are available in our downtown area. There is so much talent here, and it is fun to shop.

Do you have street art and artist galleries in your area?

26 thoughts on “Mural and Street Art

  1. Rita C.

    I like the beehive art! Yes, our capital city has a Public Arts department with new installations every year. Besides buildings, there’s an ongoing list of interstate columns and city buses being commissioned.

  2. Lesley Gilbert

    Loved seeing all your photo’s, the bees and especially the bears. We had something like this a few years ago with large TOADS (about 50, 36″ high approx), which were all actioned off after a few months. We enjoyed going out around the city taking photo’s. Then we had butterflies that were erected onto brick walls and some are still in view. I love seeing street art when it’s done correctly, but not silly tagging of names etc which lowers the tone of many areas. Anyway, thanks for sharing all these beautiful photo’s 🙂

  3. Marie Chandler

    Thanks for sharing the photos. My husband and I are vacationing in Brevard soon and plan to visit Hendersonville. I am working on a bee themed quilt.

  4. Julie

    Beautiful murals, especially the pollinators. We used to have beehives, I still miss having our homegrown honey. Every year I hunt for some at small local food fares, the rich complexity of the flavor can’t be met with commercially produced brands. We have various murals and a neighborhood of the arts showcasing local artists. A few years ago the City commissioned artists to paint various signal boxes at intersections. I still admire the raccoons peeking out near the entrance to the cemetery. The most favorite bear adorns a pole in the center of a fountain located at an intersection in one of our college towns. The granite fountain was a horse trough offering refreshment to the original load bearers before internal combustion & the corner gas station took over. Lately the fountain has been struck a few times by poorly skilled drivers & the bear was removed to a safe space during repairs, but returned to the delight of townspeople who miss their favorite talisman.

    1. Gretchen Romanelli

      I love street art. The bee collection of pollinators was fantastic. Very detailed and larger than life. The old Coca Cola mural reminiscent of the old days of advertising.
      Upstate NY has had moose statues in the Adirondack mountains, rocking chairs in Glens Falls, race horses and ballet feet on Pointe in Saratoga, Nipper the RCA 🐕 in Albany, moose and Catamount ( mountain lion) in Bennington Vermont, and pigs in Pittsfield Mass ( for long ago slaughter houses for pigs).
      The Catskill mountain communities had all kinds of cats a few years ago too. I visited towns I had only heard of.
      These type of displays bring in tourist money for day trippers like me. I love reading about the artist vision for the creation. Then funds when auctioned off and the art goes to a new home. Albany has had corporate sponsors for some. The Steampunk themed dog was very popular. Something for everyone. There was a map with the location of each dog. It was downtown where I worked so I was able to visit all of them during lunchtime walks.
      My bucket list includes a trip to see the murals around the Missouri Star quilt company. Your murals and statues would make a pleasant drive.
      I wonder if there is any kind of registry or website of these attractions.

  5. Pretty. Love the pollinators mural. I live by Fargo, ND. We have painted buffalo in areas around town. There were plenty until vandals got to some of them. Sad. Another nearby town, Pelican Rapids has painted pelicans around their small town. Detroit Lakes, MN is doing a new one this year with painted sailboats around town. Fun to find them.

  6. Lenora

    Hi Carole, we have several sculptures around our downtown area and a few scattered around other locations. Each time we go by we seem to be able to see more details on each one. Many people have talents to share. Here in the Midwest we have noticed horses, gorillas, a few bears. Would love to see more. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sylvia Anderson

    Thanks Carole for sharing your Bears with us. It was fun to see how each of the artist’s interpretation was so totally different from the other. My two favorites were the standing purple one and, of course, the dapper ice cream bear. The beehive art is fabulous, and appreciate the fact the you took close ups, so we could see the detail this artist incorporated into this work of art.

  8. I love public art in cities, and yours is quite amazing! That mural – wow! We have a lot of art around our town – it began with a sculpture park many years ago, and now there are murals and sculpture all around town. Loveland also has large three-dimensional hearts (of course!) scattered around town, painted like your bears. It’s always fun to see new art as it’s added.

  9. Donna

    The beehive mural is amazing!!! When we lived in Scotland 5 years ago, they had penguins that different companies sponsored and a different artist painted. They were placed all over the city and eventually auctioned off for charity. It was a huge success!

  10. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole, Good gracious and shakes alive. You have just brought back a memory to me of something I started and fell away from some years ago but I think I will be bringing back. Years ago when Jay and I were in Fort Hood, Texas He suggested we start a hobby of Church steeples but sometimes we couldn’t remember the steeple we took a picture of o that idea didn’t work out. In my later years I started a collection of painted pictures on the walls of buildings and I have quite a few here in Fayetteville that I want to get and I think you have revived that desire for me. We have the cutest picture of a child sometime in the 1930’s in his night shirt and it says “It’s time to retire” on the side of a tire shop. It is so sweet. He is in his sleeping shirt and holding a brass candle stick, this is one I really need to get cause these artist redentations are soon going to be a thing of the past. We have 3 different paintings here just on the town square. Griffin, Ga. Has a few as well. I really enjoyed the honey bees and their honey comb rendentation of their hive and the butterflies and how colorful they are. The queen bee and the workers are so good. The Hendersonville flag is terrific! The boring bee is very familiar to me as they like my walls to bore into but since I changed my cedar wood to a cement type board they haven’t been hanging Around as much thank goodness The painted animals reminds me of a trip the Red Hatters made to a small college town out on highway 16 not to far from me here. They were so colorful and the restaurant we ate at was great as well. Haven’t made it back but really would like to go there again but with this past year being what it was don’t know how the area is right now. Looking forward to going out again but too much road rage right now. I’m still staying fairly close to home base. The Brevard mural is so interesting and hitting the thrift stores Sorry for all the mis-spelled words, I use to be good at spelling when I was younger.Phyllis

  11. Mary

    You made my day with these lovely murals and bears. What an incredible place to live in or near. The bee mural holds such a powerful message. No bees no life.
    I love the bears too.

    I shall take this along to our ladies ‘get-together’ so they can enjoy this wonderful art as well.

  12. Love those painted bears! There is a small town, Morrinsville, further up the North Island from us that has a street full of painted cows. It’s dairy country thre, of course.

  13. PS, just remembered, the town of Bulls, not too far from us, has many large black bull statues standing around on corners, even peeking around a building or two. I’m sure you dont recognize these town names, I live across the ocean in New Zealand

  14. Sharon Church

    I love the mural. The bears are nice also. Here we have pigs instead of bears and there are new ones every year. Have you ever been to the Barbecue Festival in Lexington?

  15. Community art work is so cool! In Custer, the pay do buffalos every year, and in Rapid City we have sculptures of all the presidents on the street corners. In the winter, we dress them with scarves and hats for homeless people to take as needed.

  16. These all look wonderful. I especially like the bears.
    It is wonderful to see so many smaller towns taking on the idea of using art in their communities. We are enjoying watching it grow over here, too.

  17. Susan Nixon

    Thank you so much for sharing this great artwork! Knoxville has Market Square with cute shops and a platform which can be everything from Shakespeare in the Park in the summer, to a water platform for children to play. In the alleys around the square, local graffiti artists paint the walls, back doors and windows with some amazing designs. It’s fun to walk down the alley and then go out into the square.

  18. we have some painted water towers in out town…….the town nearby has lots of empty shops and they have painted walls etc with big murals and they look great and also add lots more metal work sculptures to the town also……….must take some pics…….

  19. Angie S.

    Thanks for sharing the art in your town. We will be visiting Greenville, SC in a week, and want to drive up into NC and sightsee after dh’s conference is done…maybe even go do the Tail of the Dragon, so I’m putting a pin in for seeing these bears and the honeybee mural.

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