The Town of Benson has announced the first mural approved through the Benson Art Advisory Board.
The Art Advisory Board was formed late last year. It was assembled to focus on bringing physical art to Benson. The first project on the agenda was the west-facing wall of the Neighbors & Associates, Inc. building (once the old Benson Drug Store).
A “call to artists” went out in June and the Art Board began the process of sorting through thirteen applications from some truly talented artists. The Board’s final selection was approved by commissioners in late September and the artists — project lead Jennifer Wood and partner Buffy Taylor from Raleigh and Pittsboro respectively — are set to begin work very soon.
The theme for the mural utilizes a “vintage-inspired postcard” style. Wood’s application won over the Art Board with it’s bold “Greetings from Benson” text harkening back to a time when these postcards were available in drug stores and five-and-dimes — aimed at travelers and visitors in an effort to truly showcase the essence of a particular area.
This first mural surely does capture the essence of Benson from the iconic mules and railroads of the town’s formative years to the crops, musical heritage, and historic homes of the area.
Both accomplished artists, Wood and Taylor sought to capture not only the aesthetic choices the Art Board had prompted, but the true history and fabric of Benson as a whole.
“I love history and research into a particular town or place insights better perspective and respect for those that came before us. Art can visually bring history to life. A public mural can inspire questions and bolster pride. Getting people excited about where they are and where they’re from is deeply rewarding,” explained Wood in her application.
“This mural presents exciting experiences to those 11,000-plus onlookers driving by — helping them see, in one vibrant glimpse, the wonders that Benson offers, possibly convincing them to stop-in and discover more,” noted Taylor.
Be sure to look for these two working on Benson’s first official mural this month as they begin the outline process.
Neighbors & Associates is located at 104 E. Main Street (the mural wall faces SE Railroad Street). This opportunity is made possible through $7,000 in funding from the Johnston County Visitors Bureau through occupancy taxes collected from Benson hotels.