A public art sculpture honoring First Lady Rosalynn Carter will be unveiled in Plains

PLAINS, Georgia (WRBL) – The people of 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 will become the focal point of the Rosalynn Smith-Carter Childhood Garden located on the Rosalynn Carter Trail. It was formerly known as South Bond Street in Plains, a street name change which took place almost a year ago.

Home is where the heart is as the Kindergarten is located next to Rosalynn Carter’s childhood home.

The artwork was inspired by a popular artist Pierre Hazelan opportunity he sees as a dream come true.

“A work of art for an ex-president, and Jimmy Carter, no less, I don’t know, as an artist you dream of things like that,” Hazel said.

Now, months later, the project is nearing completion, which is expected to be unveiled on the weekend of Friday, August 12.

Longtime resident Tim Buchannan is helping lead efforts in Plains, which hopes the artwork can raise awareness for a cause close to Rosalynn Carter’s heart: the monarch butterfly.

“What the monarch needs to survive, as it was recently added to the endangered species list,” Buchanan said.

Whether it’s sparking conversations or honoring a cherished and long-time resident of Plains, GA.

“And just to honor, our favorite first lady,” Buchanan said.

The fun and family-friendly weekend in Plains is called Butterfly Daze, with public events taking place on Friday August 12 and Saturday August 13; event organizers say everyone is invited.

Light refreshments will be served with live music on Fridays in the courtyard of the community center, 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 groundbreaking ceremony will be held 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 that families can participate in.

Both of these events will take place in the small town of Plains, a location that Hazel says is very different from her favorite hangout of Reno, Nevada.

“You know the southern charm here, the holy fumes, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Hazel said, grinning from ear to ear.

Hazel is known for his work at burning man rally and admits he’s usually pretty busy around this time, but says it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“I thought you didn’t have a chance like this, we’ll make it happen,” Hazel said.

The sculpture titled “Monarch Tree” will be approximately 15 feet tall and 15 feet wide, featuring 8 stumps and 18 butterflies, in honor of Rosalynn Carter’s birthday on August 18.

“Something like that, for an artist, is a dream,” Hazel said.

A dream Plains residents say is far from over, even long after this weekend.

Plains residents hope the garden will serve as a new public venue, hosting weddings, parties and many gatherings in between.

Mildred D. Field