A panorama of roses weaves through the animals of the Chinese zodiac on the wall of the Jade Palace restaurant on Main Street in Carrboro. Hunt for the year you were born to discover your animal and its related traits. The Strowd Roses Community Mural (2009), designed by Emily Eve Weinstein and named after the Strowd Rose Foundation, features the 12 animals that appear on the Chinese Zodiac calendar: rat, buffalo (ox), tiger, rabbit, dragon, horse, goat, snake, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each lunar year corresponds with an animal and its attributes as denoted in the 12-year cycle. According to the Chinese, the animal ruling one's birth year has a profound influence on personality, fate and fortune.
But this blossoming beauty was not the only mural that wreathed this wall.
Weinstein's artwork replaced a controversial mural painted in 2002 that featured a patchwork of art by local businesses and individuals who purchased 2x2-foot squares for $20-$50 each (proceeds were donated to Club Nova, a Carrboro nonprofit that serves as a halfway house for emotionally challenged adults). Unfortunately, the mural came across as a sweeping billboard and did not pass the Town of Carrboro's public sign ordinance. It was subsequently rectified with the addition of the poem “I am Not a Wall” by Patrick Herron, Carrboro’s poet laureate at the time. In 2007, the updated mural was vandalized in a swathe of mint green. Two years later, Strowd Roses and the Orange County Arts Commission commissioned Weinstein to design the 14 x 60-foot piece which was painted by Volunteers for Youth.
(photographed at 103 East Main Street in Carrboro)