Oakhurst will receive new mural as part of ‘Feed A Bee’ campaign
This story has been updated.
Decatur’s Oakhurst neighborhood is getting a new mural “filled with people, flowers and bees.”
The mural is part of an initiative by Bayer, a company that’s been accused of creating a pesticide that’s killed off honeybee populations.
“The mural is part of a ‘Feed A Bee’ Public Service Announcement,” a post on the city’s Decatur Minute blog says. “The project is designed to bring awareness to the decline in bee populations and will feature the artist creating a mural of people, flowers, and bees. It will also have people planting flowers which along with the mural will be left behind for the community to enjoy.”
An artist who goes by the name of Olive47 will be responsible for painting the new mural, which will be on the side of the building that houses One Step at a Time shoe store. The mural will face Harmony Park.
“They will build a raised bed on the granite slab and plant flowers that draw pollinators such as bees and butterflies,” the Decatur Minute post says. “This mural is not an advertisement and will not have advertising on it. The public education campaign associated with the painting and filming of the mural is designed to help people understand the importance of helping feed bees.”
The “not an advertisement” part of that statement is a reference to the project’s backer. The Feed a Bee Campaign is an initiative of the Bayer Bee Care Center in North Carolina, according to a spokesperson. The New York Times reported in 2013 that, “Bayer is one off the major producers of a type of pesticide that the European Union linked to the large-scale die-offs of honeybee populations in North America and Western Europe.” To read the full story, click here.
According to Olive47’s website, the artist was born in Chattanooga, earned a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a MFA from Camberwell College of the Arts in London. She moved to Atlanta in 2012, “Where she was a featured muralist in the Living Walls 2012 conference,” the website says.
Reached via email, the artist said she is, “Really excited to be doing the project and I hope that the people of Decatur like it.”
She said she would not have gotten involved with the mural project if the finished product would be an advertisement for Bayer.
“I won’t do anything for a company that’s doing something sketchy,” she said.
She sent over this drawing of what the mural will look like when it’s complete:
According to the company’s spokesperson, Feed A Be is “A national program to create more bee-friendly pollinator friendly plants that bees can eat. One of the issues is there’s not enough pollinator plants available to honeybees.”
Film crews are Oakhurst today shooting a video to promote the project.
The mural will be yet another change to the face of Oakhurst, which is currently in the final stages of a massive streetscape project. The project has increased the size of Oakhurst’s Harmony Park.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of a photo showing a sketch of the mural included a logo. The artist contacted Decaturish and said she’d inadvertently sent over a photo of an earlier sketch done for presentation purposes. She said the logo won’t appear as part of the mural. At the artist’s request, we have replaced the previous photo with one that does not feature a logo.