Updated: Feb 28, 2021
By Jasmine Willis
SPRINGWATER — A local woman is shedding some light into the community with a project that is close to her heart.
Debbie Perkins, of Springwater, is working on a Peacock Mural that will face East Hill on the side of her rustic yellow barn. Weary travelers who drive by her barn will be able to see the giant bird as a reminder of hope.
Perkins reached out to this local reporter to share the reason for the Peacock Mural Project.
“I have always loved peacocks. It goes back to when I was a little girl growing up in New Orleans. I am one of eight children. My grandma was from Buffalo. She would come down to visit us sometimes by train. Some of the places we would always visit were The Audubon Zoo, City Park, Bourbon Street, Bayou Barataria, and Lake Pontchartrain,” she said. “My grandma always had a song for the peacocks. She insisted her singing would somehow get the peacocks at the zoo to open their tails. I don’t recall it being effective, but grandma was not one to give up, so we spent lots of time there together as she tried. It was always wonderful to have that one-on-one experience with someone when you are surrounded by so many siblings all of the time.”
Perkins has grown up feeling a special connection to these beautiful birds. The peacock is a special part of her story. She had gotten a tattoo of the bird when she was younger. She had collected them throughout her life in various different ways.
Perkins decided she wanted to have one painted on the side of her large yellow barn outside of her home.
“My son David commissioned a brilliant artist to do a peacock for me that I wanted to have turned into a mural on my barn. I know I wanted to support a local artist to do the barn mural. I got in contact with the Wayland-Cohocton Central school hoping one of the students would do the mural for me,” Perkins said. “I am fussy about my peacock photos. I didn’t want it to look like a cartoon. I got an artist to compile several ideas I had to customize my peacock. It is Black and White. I think that it is exquisite and will be larger than life on the barn.”
Perkins hired a local student artist, Hayleigh Nadeau to begin working on the mural when the weather is better. The peacock will cover a large portion of the barn facing East Hill.
The artist who created the image is Blais Bellenoit, of North Carolina. Perkins added that she is currently in the market for some good scaffolding for the student artist to use as she works on the project.
The Peacock Mural Project should begin in the spring. Eager onlookers will see the work in progress as they head towards East Hill.