At a time when Lincoln County residents are dealing with scorching heat and rising consumer prices, the Wesson Garden Club has brought a dose of serene beauty to downtown Wesson for locals and visitors alike can take advantage of it.
At a rally on June 7, the club hosted Wesson Mayor Alton Shaw, the Wesson Council of Aldermen, and his family and friends for an event “like no other”.
Club President Dixie Thornton began by saying, “On behalf of the Wesson Garden Clue, we want to welcome you to this very special and historic event in the history of the town of Wesson.
However, the real reason for the event remained a surprise until later when Nancy Sullivan, Brittney Warren and Sherri Carty started reading the poem “Lasting Footprints” by Nancy Grady Wilson. While doing so, sculptures of beautiful butterflies slowly revealed themselves.
“Wesson Garden Club’s motto is ‘Make things happen’ and tonight we did just that; it only took 158 years, but we did it,” Thornton said with a laugh, mentioning that the city was incorporated in 1864.
The custom-designed painted sculptures are now in Fountain Garden Park. The creation of the sculptures and the event itself were made possible by many workers and volunteers, Thornton said.
The idea for the sculptures began about a year ago when Pam and Dwayne McLemore of Steel Outdoors met Thornton. “Their love for Wesson and their desire to make it a better place to live and work was so strong that they expressed their wish to improve tourism,” Thornton said.
After the group brainstormed the possibilities, the club and the company teamed up to design sculptures to be installed in the town centre. They pitched the idea to city leaders and, with the support of Mayor Shaw and the Council of Aldermen, the project was given the green light to begin.
Brandon McLemore, a “very talented metal designer”, said Thornton, was commissioned to design the three stunning butterfly sculptures unveiled that day. “Once Brandon created the sculptures, they had to be painted,” Thornton said. “Thanks to the presence of a member of the gardening club whose husband is an artist, we were lucky. We were honored to have artists Richard Hoaglin and Mitch Berch take the butterflies and bring them to life.
After Thornton and the club thanked Pam, Dwayne and Brandon McLemore of Steel Outdoors; the artists Hoaglin and Berch; city leaders; Gary Smith for music and Paige Anderson for photography; visitors surrounded and discussed the beauty of the carvings, even as the heat pounded.