ARTIST: Grace Cathey
INSTALLATION YEAR: 2013
LOCATION: 185 N. Main Street
A trio of carefree native wildflowers depict the stunning natural beauty of the Smokies. The artist evoked the style of timeless botanical illustrations, like those penned in journals of early explorers documenting the new-found flora of the Southern Appalachians in the 1700s.
The piece is another salute to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its rich biological diversity harbors more than 1,500 flowering plants. Home to 19,000 documented species already — more than any other national park — and the count continues to climb. More than 1,000 species new to science were discovered in the Smokies over the past two decades.
The larger-than-life wildflower panels are the work of Waynesville’s own beloved Grace Cathey, a renowned metal artist captivated by the natural world during her 40-year career. The dainty and graceful air to the petals belies the strong welded metal beneath.