Carrboro - North Carolina
The Carrboro community has a special place in my heart because the day I reached out to the world and asked if anyone would like to participate in The Good of the Hive Initiative, I received six different personal inquiries from people in the town- complete with pictures and ideas. With that much enthusiasm, I knew I was heading to Carrboro. On top of that, as the year went on, I got more and more behind in my schedule, which meant Carborro had to be more and more patient with me. Basically I hadn’t factored enough time into each mural to talk with everyone that came across a mural site (first year learning). So much of this work is about connecting one-on-one. And they couldn’t have been better about it. On top of that, by the time I got there, it was the dead of summer and some days were 105 degrees and I just couldn’t work as quickly as I normally would. THEN we had a hurricane! So this mural was a real adventure!
After exploring all options, I felt that the fire station was the perfect place for this initiative because a fire station is a natural metaphor for a hive. This station even has a female Chief at the helm like the Queen bee!
Every town’s fire station is the heart of the community. It is a job that values the community as much as it does the individual.
We had a great day where the fire fighters helped paint flower petals as I painted bees. Based on this experience and something similar at Burt’s Bees, The Good of the Hive is going to implement more ‘people painting petals’ in future murals.
I honor and respect the work these guys do so much. They fight fires, but they are also the guys that are trained to make sure your child’s seat is installed properly in your car. They teach school kids and get them excited about being of service. And they have incredibly cool trucks. We did some filming that will be coming out in 2017… so stay tuned for that.
This design started as one thing and ended up being modified as I was doing it. Sometimes something changes in my mind along the way as I am doing this work. My original design didn’t have any flowers in it. But as the year was progressing, my understanding of the inextricable connection between bees and flowers was coming into focus. So when I got to Carrboro, I couldn’t stop seeing the bees intertwining with the flowers on the upper right… and that was a thread on a sweater for shifting other parts of the design as well. I am forever in gratitude for the city council for affording me the freedom to let things shift as I saw the need. This, to me, is a perfect example of how the world will heal. We aim toward a goal but remain flexible enough to let things shift as more information comes in… which is happening every day with the environment, the bees, and even The Good of the Hive.