PLAINS, Ga. (WRBL) – People in Plains are celebrating birthdays and butterflies, as a new public art sculpture honoring Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, is set to be unveiled this weekend, just in time for her birthday.
The new sculpture, dedicated by friends in her honor, will become the focal point of the Rosalynn Smith Carter Childhood Garden located on Rosalynn Carter Trail. It was formerly known as South Bond Street in Plains, a street name change that took place nearly one year ago.
Home is where the heart is as the childhood garden is located next to Rosalynn Carter’s childhood home.
The art piece was inspired by popular artist Peter Hazel, an opportunity he considers a dream come true.
“An art piece for an ex-president, and Jimmy Carter, no less, I don’t know, as an artist you dream about things like this,” Hazel said.
Now months later the project inches closer to completion, set to be unveiled the weekend of Friday, August 12.
Helping lead the efforts in Plains is longtime resident Tim Buchanan, who hopes the art piece can bring awareness to a cause close to the heart of Rosalynn Carter: the monarch butterfly.
“What the monarch needs to survive, because it was added to the endangered species list just recently,” Buchanan said.
From sparking conversations to honoring a cherished and long-time resident of Plains, Georgia.
“And just to honor, our favorite First Lady,” Buchanan said.
The fun-filled and family friendly weekend in Plains is titled Butterfly Daze, with public events taking place on both Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13; event organizers say everyone is invited.
Light refreshments will be served with live music on Friday in the Community Center Courtyard, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
This event will also serve as a meet and greet for popular artist, Peter Hazel.
The public dedication ceremony will take place on Saturday at the Rosalynn Smith Carter Childhood Garden from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. It will be paired with a butterfly release for families to participate in.
Both of these events will take place in the small town of Plains, a place Hazel said is much different from his stomping grounds of Reno, Nevada.
“You know the southern charm down here, holy smokes, I’ve never seen anything like,” Hazel said while smiling from ear to ear.
Hazel is known for his work at the Burning Man gathering and admits he’s typically pretty busy around this time, but says this was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“I thought, you don’t get a chance like this, we will make it happen,” Hazel said.
The sculpture titled the “Dancing Monarchs” will eventually stand about 15 feet tall and 15 feet wide, with 8 stumps and 18 butterflies, symbolic of Rosalynn Carter’s birthday on August 18.
“Something like this, for an artist, it’s a dream,” Hazel said.
A dream folks in Plains say is far from over, even long after this weekend.
People in Plains hope the garden will serve as a new public venue, hosting weddings, parties, and many gatherings in between.