Downtown bee mural painting starts Monday; Here’s how to watch, meet artist

Painting a large mural featuring honey bees is slated to begin next week in downtown Hendersonville, thanks to the efforts of the city’s Tree Board and mural painter Matt Willey to be part of the Bee Mural Project, and the public is invited to view it.

Willey is on a mission to paint 50,000 honey bees, the same number as in a healthy beehive. This emerges from a notice from the Tree Board announcing the start of the mural.

Over the next four to five weeks, Willey will meticulously hand-paint the bees on the outside walls of Hands On! Children’s Museum building overlooking the azalea car park.

The sprawling canvas wall of the historic building was recently professionally washed and prepared for the artwork to begin, thanks to community donations and in-kind support from Burlett Painting.

After about two years of organizing the mural, expectations have risen at the beginning of the start date. The press release states that more than 50 sponsors, numerous donors from companies, individuals and organizations, and countless other contributors have contributed to the creation of the mural.

On October 17, Bold Rock Hard Cider held a festival in Mills River to celebrate the harvest season and honor the role of pollinators, and launched the Downtown Bee Mural Project.

The project will help expand the children’s museum’s mission of nurturing creativity through STEAM to the entire community, says Executive Director Joseph Knight in the press release.

It will also add to the growing art appeal of downtown Hendersonville’s ArtScape banners, the colorful hand-painted bears, and the large Mosiac nature scene created by Ukrainian artists in the 1990s, making downtown Hendersonville a family-friendly art destination .

Listed along with five other murals on or around Main Street on the Appalachian Mural Trail, the Bee Mural is designed to inspire more pollinator-friendly plantings like the 5-acre wildflower meadow along Oklawaha Greenway in Hendersonville.

Most importantly, bees wall enthusiasts say this will point to the important farms and farm-to-table movement in Henderson County that recognize the importance of honeybees and other pollinators to the community’s economy and heritage.

Public invited to watch

During the weeks that it will take to paint the mural brushstroke by brushstroke, starting high up with a cantilever lift and working down to the floor, Willey specifically involves the viewer and thus becomes both a pollinator teacher and a painter.

He founded The Good of the Hive as a personal commitment to hand-paint 50,000 honey bees in murals around the world. Through art and imagination, his work arouses curiosity and awareness of the importance of honeybees and other pollinators, while celebrating the power of human connection.

When the weather is nice, Willey is on site almost every day. The community is invited to stop by to meet the artist and watch him bring the mural to life or virtually follow the progress through a series of video updates about the bee wall project, which are posted regularly at http: // protect-us. mimecast. com / s / gcQkCJ6K0qi8zlDzPFVwFuV? domain =

Special occasions

Saturday, October 31st and Sunday, November 1st, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Weather permitting, check out artist Matt Willey who works to bring the bee mural to life. Costumes for Halloween or the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) or to celebrate pollinators are recommended.

While supplies last, sweet treats for children will be available – pure honey sticks, honey candies, colorful sugar skull stickers and I Love Pollinators stickers.

Plan on giving Matt some tricks that go with his goodies – tell him your best bee joke or pollinator pun to see if you can make Matt giggle and smile.

Lunch & Learn with Matt Willey, artist and founder of The Good of the Hive

Thursday, November 5th, 12.30pm-1.30pm

Presented by: Blue Ridge Community College, a certified bee campus; Bee City United States, Hendersonville; Hands on! Children’s museum; The good of the beehive

This virtual Lunch and Learn is an opportunity to meet Willey, who explains how and why he painted bees and outlines the purpose of The Good of the Hive. The virtual event will be moderated by the international podcast host Pam Pyms. Participants can ask questions to Matt and the local organizers of the Bee Mural project.

This is a free Zoom event limited to the first 250 registrants. Register at

Interact during Love Hendo – Shop Local Saturday

Saturday, November 7th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Presented by Historic Downtown Hendersonville, Bee City USA, Hendersonville, Hands On! Children’s Museum

Main Street will be closed to traffic on the first Saturday of November and will be open to pedestrians, al fresco dining, and retail stores.

Fun events at the Bee Mural Project take place in the Azalea parking lot along Third Ave. E. Watch mural painter Matt Willey paint pollinators on the outside wall of Hands On! Children’s museum; Check out a colony of live bees in the glass observation hive. Buy local honey, Jun (a delicious honey-based drink), and baked goods. display local artwork; buy a souvenir t-shirt; and more.

The providers / exhibitors include Honey Bee Bliss, Bee City USA – Hendersonville, Das Gute des Bienenstock, Hands On! Children’s museum, Shanti elixirs and more.

Hive Alive Art Show

Until Sunday, November 1st at ArtMoB Studios and on Market Square, 124 Fourth Ave. E.

Gallery times: Monday, Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. (Closed on Tuesday.)

Presented by Art MoB Studios & Marketplace

Right around the corner, from where Willey will paint the larger-than-life bee mural, is Art MoB Studios and the market square, where the work of more than 80 local and regional artists and craftsmen are exhibited.

Art MoB artists have donated selected works of art for sale, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Bee Mural Project. Most artwork, including paintings, ceramics, photography, jewelry, glasswork, woodwork, and more, cost between $ 25 and $ 100. A piece will be raffled off at an upcoming artist reception. All CDC guidelines are in place.

“Art MoB and our artists believe in giving back to the community to support those who support us and for the benefit of the bees and their hives. So much depends on it, ”says Michele Sparks, owner of Art Mob, in the publication.

Community participation encouraged

All fundraisers and online campaigns planned during Willey’s visit can be found at to help the project achieve the following long-term goals:

• Establishing a fund for the ongoing care and maintenance of the bee mural.

• Install and upgrade a pollinator garden along the wall at the base of the bee mural to be used as a demonstration base to attract pollinators to residential and commercial landscapes.

• Expand pollinator-related STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) education programs for students and support community presentations by the artist (online or in person, as needed).

• Take the Appalachian Mural Trail and develop / promote a mural trail in downtown Hendersonville.

• Support future museum exhibitions related to pollinators, agriculture, food systems and ecosystems.

The Bee Mural Project is a partnership with Bee City USA Hendersonville, Hands On! Children’s Museum and The Good of the Hive in partnership with nonprofits, local businesses, and community members.

The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators. Bring beauty and character to downtown Hendersonville. Celebrate the power in human connection. and stimulate measures to maintain healthy ecosystems.

For more information, contact [email protected] or follow the initiative’s progress at

For more information on the Bee Mural Project and upcoming pollinator events, please visit

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