[Wendell, NC]–Muralist Matt Willey is in Wendell, North Carolina this week to paint his newest honey bee mural. Through his organization, The Good of the Hive, Willey is on a personal mission to hand-paint 50,000 honey bees – the number necessary for a healthy, thriving hive – in murals in public space across the United States and the world. The Wendell mural is part of the United Arts Council’s Municipal Murals program, funded in part by Wake County.
The Good of the Hive’s mission is to ignite radical curiosity for planetary health issues through art and storytelling. Willey hopes to inspire action to save not only the bees but all the species that rely on healthy ecosystems, including the human species.
“Honey bees within the hive ‘think’ collectively. They are hard-wired to understand that their immune system is collective. Their health is based on the health of the hive, not the individual bee,” said Willey. “After a personal experience with a honey bee in 2008, I realized that human health is the same way, although we rarely act like it. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we are truly all connected more deeply than we realize. The global hive I’m painting is a metaphor for the connectedness of all things. The bees are a symbol for humans, trees, animals, pollinators, water, soil, and everything in between.”
So far, Willey has painted about 5,400 honey bees across the United States, including the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the Burt’s Bees headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, and has plans in the works as far away as the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
To learn more about this project, join United Arts this Friday, August 7th, at 6:00 pm for their August Virtual First Friday, where Willey will talk about his newest mural and his passion for honey bees. More information on the event: https://unitedarts.org/whats-new/august-virtual-first-friday/
The Wendell mural will be next to the Bearded Bee Brewing Company on 20 East Campen Street in Wendell.