The Town of Benson is excited to announce: First commissioned mural is now complete!
November 13, 2020
Project lead Jennifer Wood and partner Buffy Taylor, from Raleigh and Pittsboro respectively, put the finishing touches to the mural on the side of the Neighbors & Associates, Inc. building along Main Street this week — capping off just over a month of work.
“So many people have stopped and honked and commented,” said Wood about her time painting the mural. “Clearly, everybody is appreciating it and liking it and wanting me to know that — so I think people are excited about it.”
“Since being here and talking to the people and hearing their history and their stories… I feel like I’m part of Benson and I can’t wait to come back for Mule Days and all the other events you have,” added Taylor.
The two were chosen following a “call to artists” in June put out by the Benson Art Advisory Board. After sifting through some very talented artists from across the state, the Board ultimately chose Wood and Taylor for their spot-on render of the desired theme — a vintage inspired postcard.
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, Benson’s first mural really does have a little bit of everything — from mules and gospel singers to sweet potatoes and trains.
“People that don’t normally get to see art, now can just drive by and see it all the time,” said Wood. “Everybody has just been so kind and supportive — just a lot of thumbs up.”
This opportunity was made possible by the Johnston County Visitors Bureau (Visit Johnston County, NC) through occupancy taxes collected from Benson hotels.
The Town encourages everyone to stop by Neighbors & Associates (located at 104 E. Main Street — the mural wall faces SE Railroad Street) and snap a photo.
Local artists continue to paint Raleigh sidewalks
By Robert Judson
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Raleigh ArtBeats program is in full swing!
What started as a pizza slice on a downtown Raleigh sidewalk, is now a full blown art landscape around the city.
Back in September, the City of Raleigh Department of Transportation and Raleigh Arts Office, in partnership with Artspace and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance announced Raleigh ArtBeats, a series of 16 painted sidewalk interventions.
Keeping it Copeasthetic with Buffy Taylor
By Heather Burns
Jul 24, 2018
“What purpose does art have? What can I do that creates awareness – getting people to think about relevant issues and affect positive change?” These are the thoughts that permeate Buffy’s consciousness, as she works to get her mural art launched in Raleigh. In an all day symposium “Articulating Value in Arts” at the Living Arts Collective, Buffy was inspired to start a new series of paintings. She started writing words on her paintings that reflect the emotions you don’t talk to others about and overlapped them with a portrait, in a style that she calls a modern mashup influenced by contemporary, pop, street, and graffiti art. “The skin (in my paintings) was transparent, to reveal thoughts and emotions that live just beneath the surface.”
Buffy has always been creative with a tendency toward wanderlust. “The teachers had to move me away from the window – I was always daydreaming. Third grade brought summer school and an art class; from then on, I was hooked.”
As a mom, Buffy was always creating new art projects and crafts with and for her son, one time creating her own artistic fireplace, floor to ceiling during the holidays because he asked how Santa would get in. Colleagues nicknamed her “Adventure Girl”, because she played as hard as she worked – hiking mountains, camping, kayaking, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, rock climbing, hang gliding, dog sledding, dirt bike riding, skydiving, flying around the country to run half marathons in the 2008 Rock n Roll race series, and becoming a licensed motorcycle rider. After being laid off, she struggled to keep up with the financial responsibilities as a single mom, trying to support a life for herself and her now teenage son on her own. Unemployment was not enough and eventually they had to put all their belongings in storage and move out. They temporarily stayed with her brother in Florida, but months before having to move there, Buffy had enrolled in and was accepted to college on financial aid. They returned to Massachusetts, but because she lost her home she had to move into a dorm room at the age of 38 while her son, now 18, stayed with friends and sometimes slept on her dorm room floor. She earned a Bachelor degree in Communication Arts concentrating in Visual Communications and minoring in information Systems and Art Studio. In her last semester of college, she met her husband Todd. Two years later the couple settled in Raleigh. A setback turned into a positive, as Buffy suffered an injury that required surgery and months of physical therapy. The many weekly medical appointments in that 13 month recovery period interrupted her ability to work a traditional job, so she used the time in between appointments to paint and “keep my sanity”, entering her paintings and drawings in local art shows. When she began developing her craft it was with the hope that she would one day paint murals. Recently, she partnered up with Natasha Walker of Edith Gray Designs to apply as a team for the Durham Neighborhood Mural Project. While they were not one of the selected artist/teams for that call, the partners motivated each other to do more, apply for shows and now hope to collaborate on future opportunities.
Last September, Buffy started attending the Tuesday night Drink & Draw event at Imurj. When it was time for Imurj to start the bathroom murals series, Buffy was an easy choice. She has recently completed a brightly colored mural in the women’s restroom that features a diverse array of women enjoying the vibe of Imurj. “Those figures originated from charcoals I worked on at Drink & Draw. I wanted to do something that relates to Imurj so people could connect to the space. The crowd scene has warm, bright colors to reflect the electric vibe at Imurj. I wanted people to feel an energy here that affects their mood.”