BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) – The following is an unedited press release:
“A new art project in Bay Minette is for the birds. Literally. The Committee on Public Arts (COPA) recently installed five new birdhouses that are mini replicas of some of the most iconic structures in the city, including the library, utilities board, depot, railroad platform and the “little white house”.
The birdhouses were commissioned by COPA and then designed and built by Cassie and Grant Berryhill, owners of Berryhill Co. in Bay Minette. The couple worked together to recreate the structures with a close attention to detail.
“We really enjoyed being a part of making something for our town that will last for years,” Cassie Berryhill said. “Bay Minette is flourishing and being a small piece of that is a great experience.”
So far, COPA has commissioned five birdhouses and feeders and hopes to add to that inventory.
The library birdhouse pays homage to the stained-glass windows found at the historic building, which once served as a church. The stately birdhouse also features white columns, hand-painted lettering and tiny shingles to mimic the building’s roofline.
“Our library is a historic building and one of the most beautiful ones in our area. Seeing the library in miniature is amazing,” said Joanna Bailey, Library Director. “Cassie Berryhill is incredibly talented, and her attention to detail – down to the stained glass windows – is outstanding.”
Each of the designs highlights significant details of the subject. The mini-North Baldwin Utilities, which once served as the city’s post office, includes the grand front columns and the gas burning lanterns are painted on the birdhouse as well. The intricate roofline is also reproduced in painstaking detail.
The North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce structure features both a birdhouse and bird feeder in one. The birdhouse side is a replica of the historic train depot, which now serves as the chamber building. On its side is a red birdfeeder that resembles the old caboose that sits adjacent to the real structure on McMeans Avenue.
“I definitely enjoy looking out my office window every day and seeing a tiny version of our building, the old L&N Depot,” said Marlee Bailey with the chamber. “What a fun way to commemorate the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and a building that is so well-known and treasured in our community. It’s really an uncanny resemblance to our building, as are the other birdhouses placed around town.”
For the railroad platform, the hand-painted “Bay Minette” sign has been replicated to perfection. This birdfeeder is set up at Blackburn Park, along with a birdhouse replica of the little white house located at the park.
The purpose of COPA is to promote art in public spaces and enhance the visual experience through various mediums like environmental displays, murals or sculptures. The local group has already added a butterfly sculpture to downtown Bay Minette and local artists have painted murals downtown and at local parks.
One of the group’s goal is finding ways to create art from everyday objects, such as the birdhouses, painted garbage barrels and even fire hydrants have gotten an overhaul. All three art forms can now be seen in various parks and public spaces.
“Being a member of COPA, I am proud to see all the wonderful art projects popping up all over town,” Joanna Bailey said. “I love seeing the new additions here at the library – the birdhouse and the charmingly painted fire hydrant near the Korean War Memorial. Plans are also in the works to add a few pockets of art inside the library.”
Follow the Community on Public Arts (COPA) on Facebook to learn more about completed projects and plans. Want to see even more? Donations can be sent to City of Bay Minette, Attn.: COPA, 301 D’Olive Street, Bay Minette, AL 36507.”