It was a real treat to return to Berea, Kentucky, to paint this mural celebrating one of the Southeasts’ most enigmatic and endangered plants- the White Fringeless Orchid, Platanthera integrilabia. This orchid grows in seeps and fens in the forests of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia and is much threatened by logging and groundwater depletion. They call it the monkey-face orchid- it’s a fun weirdo to paint.
I painted this mural with Tricia Tripp on the east wall of the Spotlight Playhouse community theater, across from the Glades Community Garden, a project providing food and growing space for low-income Berea residents as well as education for Berea’s young people. It replaces an earlier version that was sadly destroyed by fire last year. This much larger replacement mural was sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity and local powerhouse forest defenders Kentucky Heartwood, with extra help from Berea Kids Eat, a small group providing free delivered meals to young people in need in Berea. See all the murals in the project here.