Sunday, July 14, 2024

‘Set in stone’: Butterflies of Granbury now offers statues for residents

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Hood County is slowly transforming into a colorful, vibrant community — one butterfly statue at a time.

For the past year, business owners all over the county have been purchasing butterfly statues for their businesses as a symbol of unity in the community for the purpose-driven project: Butterflies of Granbury.

But now, for the first time ever, Hood County residents can purchase a smaller statue for their own home.

The Butterflies of Granbury project was started last year by Granbury native Rachel Brister after she drove through the town of Hutto — known for its hippo mascot and statues.

“I know it sounds so simple, but when you go to Hutto, Texas, everybody has a hippo and when you see how united they are, it is just beautiful,” Brister previously told the Hood County News.

According to huttotx.gov, Hutto residents and businesses proudly tout their hippo spirit with concrete hippos in many different sizes and styles displayed throughout the community. While estimates vary, it can reasonably be estimated there are between 5,000 and 10,000 concrete hippos throughout Hutto.

Utilizing the same concept, Brister approached Visit Granbury last year with her best friend, Amber Pilgrim, to pitch their idea for a community mascot.

“We originally designed the (idea with) pirates thinking that Granbury would be known as the pirates (to coincide with the school), but then the Cultural Arts Commission suggested we change the pirate design to a monarch butterfly,” she explained.

According to Brister’s brochure on the project, butterflies represent many things, from unification to transformation to education.

“Granbury is also fortunate enough to be part of the annual route that the monarch butterflies take from Mexico to Canada,” the brochure states. “These butterfly statues are just a small glimpse of the amazing beauty this migration incapsulates.”

With help from Pilgrim, the founder of Kingdom Reign Marketing; Deborah Rollins, event chairman of Romancing the Monarch: A Butterfly Festival; Cora Werley, board chair of the Granbury Cultural Arts Commission; and Greg Ray, owner of Set in Stone Statuary — and the same artist who sculpted the hippos in Hutto — the Butterflies of Granbury project was born.

"No matter your economic status, no matter your political point of view, the statue was made to kind of bridge everyone together,” Brister told the Hood County News. “If everyone has the same statue painted differently, at least it would be one common thing that everybody could have within the community, so that's kind of why I created this project.”

Operating under her self-founded organization, UN1TY Protecting Our Protectors LLC, Brister has now sold 10 residential butterfly statues and about seven statues for businesses.

The business butterfly statues cost $2,000 each and measure 3 1/2- feet tall and 4-feet wide. The statues will arrive already primed and weigh approximately 900 pounds.

The residential butterfly statues are $350 each, measuring 2-feet tall and 2-feet wide. These statues will also arrive primed and weigh approximately 270 pounds.

Both business owners and residents are free to paint the statue any color they like, however, there are restrictions for business statues.

"For businesses, we do have to be in compliance with the Granbury code enforcement,” Brister said. “There can't be any words on the butterfly itself for businesses and there can’t be symbols to reflect their business if they're in the city limits because that classifies the butterfly as a sign.”

Any statue owner can also paint their own statue if they choose, or they can hire a local artist from the Butterflies of Granbury website:

  • Reagan Deming — 817-992-6444
  • Andrea Taylor, owner of Against the Grain Studio — 806-543-9077
  • Cindy Crawford Shipley — 817-946-2579
  • Sheri Jones — 817-475-4303
  • Sadie Sheppard, owner of Sadie’s Paintings — 817-219-7572

“It's just a fun thing to kind of unite the town and also create jobs for our local artists, because we are now a cultural arts district," she said.

Businesses that purchase a butterfly will be added to a map of Granbury that will be used to give locals and tourists an opportunity to locate and view all the butterflies around town — like a scavenger hunt.

Businesses that currently have statues on theirs property include:

  • Open Hearts Yoga Sanctuary & Crystal Boutique — 616 Fall Creek Highway
  • Bella Rosa Consignment Gallery — 1452 E. U.S. Highway 377
  • Acton Nature Center — 6900 Smoky Hill Court
  • Paul Hyde Law Firm — 827 W. Pearl St.
  • Granbury Cultural Arts Commission/Lake Granbury Conference Center — 621 E. Pearl St.

Proceeds from each statue sale — business or residential — will benefit the Granbury Lion’s Club.

As the project grows, Brister said she hopes to have a yearly competition for the best painted butterfly in Hood County.

"We'll probably do some kind of Facebook competition, or some kind of judging competition like that, to where we'll have first, second and third place prizes annually for that,” she said. “We'll also create a plaque to honor them. Same with businesses as well, so it's something that businesses can also participate in.”

Soon, Butterflies of Granbury will also offer plaques for each business butterfly statue as a separate purchase that will include the name of the business and the artist’s name.

“My heart is to see these all over town and to see local nonprofits benefiting; that's my main goal,” Brister said.

The Butterflies of Granbury project is approved by Visit Granbury, Lake Granbury Master Gardeners, Texas Master Gardeners, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, Romancing the Monarch: A Butterfly Festival, and the Granbury Cultural Arts Commission.

To purchase a statue, go online to butterfliesofgranbury.com, call Brister at 817-559-1465 or send her an email at butterfliesofgranbury@gmail.com

“I feel like this is going to be something very beneficial for the city of Granbury,” she previously told the HCN. “In my heart, I want to be an example of God’s love and give back to the community. It’s all for UN1TY, and that’s what UN1TY is — creating unity in the community. It’s all set in stone.”