Have you ever visited Whiteville? As the County Seat, Whiteville is the biggest town in Columbus County. With the train depot, Vineland Station, as the town "center", you can't help but feel a little more connected to NC's past. The once booming downtown has struggled with recent floods and is slowing getting back on its feet. In addition to kombucha on tap, classic burgers, and a new yoga studio, we have something that most towns don't have... the Butterfly Trail.
Columbus County native, Bess Taylor, @bessmess, dreamed of painting a giant butterfly, and paint a giant butterfly she did. The Eastern Swallowtail.
As a small, rural town, we experience many of the hardships of similar places. News of car accidents, drugs, crime, and gun violence plagues our channels of communication, and this giant yellow butterfly gave the community something positive to focus on, and guess what, it felt good. So good, in fact, that groups around town starting raising money, and scheduled Bess to paint butterfly murals around town. Not just giant butterflies, but butterfly wings that you can stand in between, and that contain images that are significant to the organization. One such set of wings hangs on the building that houses the Columbus County Community Farmers Market. As you look closer you will see that she customized the wings based on our Vendors!
You'll have to head on out to the Market to see the other half of the wings :)
Bess is not just a painter, she is an educator. Her passion for nature, harmony, love, peace, and compassion, all shines through in her art, AND then she designs activities to use along side her art, so that we can engage with the piece in a meaningful way. We can grow by finding out what we don't know, and now that we know it, we want to be a part of it.
This special collection of wings, has been dedicated as the Whiteville Butterfly Trail, and you are invited to come experience them for yourself!
When you come to Whiteville, be sure to stop by our Chamber of Commerce on Madison St and Discover Columbus County.