By Emma Castleberry
While public restrooms are rarely regarded as pleasant spaces, the Black Mountain Beautification Committee (BMBC) has just completed a project on Cherry Street that challenges that idea. The Cherry Street public restrooms are one of 20 garden sites around Black Mountain that are tended by the BMBC. “We decided to install plant containers and new benches, but when looking at the exterior of the building, we saw the makings of a transformation,” says BMBC co-chair Lyndall Noyes-Brownell. “Joyce Black-Woerz suggested enhancing the building by painting a small mountain scene by the water fountains.”
The committee typically works only in gardens and landscaping, so the concept of a mural project was new. After finding that several departments around town were supportive of the idea, the BMBC put the mural project on their goal list for 2018. BMBC members Pat Ward and Black-Woerz volunteered to start the project in the spring and finished over the summer. Ward updated the building with a fresh coat of paint and Black-Woerz completed the mural. “The committee is so proud of these women for their individual efforts to accomplish this project,” says Noyes-Brownell. “The mural acts as a centerpiece for the garden site, which has been renamed ‘The Mural on Cherry Street.’”
Black-Woerz, a watercolor artist, based the mural on an image taken by Artist with Camera photographer Joye Ardyn Durham. “I wanted an accurate depiction of a local mountain range to use as reference,” says Black-Woerz. The painter used Durham’s photo Spring Peaks because it catered well to the panel spaces and allowed Black-Woerz to work around the water fountains that are attached to the wall. “Just because something performs a basic function doesn’t mean it cannot also be attractive,” says Black-Woerz. “I have been to public gardens and studied books on them where the public restrooms are treated as an integral part of the landscape and often have forms of art integrated into them, including murals inside and out. I hope the mural enhances time spent here and encourages creative expression in others.”
The Mural on Cherry Street is located at the intersection of Cherry Street and Flint Street in Black Mountain. For more information about the Black Mountain Beautification Committee, visit BlackMountainBeautification.org.