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The Enchanted Forest Artist Statement

The Enchanted Forest

Artists: Sydney Duarte @traveling_gypsy and Treazy Treaz @treazy_treaz

Description, inspiration, intention, thought, story, etc. 

This Enchanted Forest mural honors and celebrates the Town of Mt. Holly and their commitment to connecting community and nature. Our design was created to encourage passersby to slow down and reflect on their personal connection to the natural world, celebrate the present moment and dream about the future ahead.

We hope the mural sparks a sense of wonder, awe and discovery through engagement with the different elements throughout the wall. The lanterns and Northern Lights are to evoke a sense of excitement and celebration while the racoon and other sweet creatures are here to welcome visitors to the space, inviting them to connect with the town in a new way. 

Every person that stopped by the wall while we were bringing it to life at Traust had nothing but wonderful things to say. These were people in the community from all ages, all races and all backgrounds. Some said they’ve lived in Mount Holly their entire life, some just moved here and said that it made them feel at home. Visitors from Belmont, Lincolnton, Stanley, Mooresville, Gastonia, and Charlotte came to visit the wall when they saw it posted on social media and were excited to see new color coming to the area. 

1. The natural elements of wildflowers and animals are native to North Carolina and Mount Holly; to remind us that it is our role in the present to preserve Mother Nature so we can have a prosperous future.

2. The glowing lanterns throughout the sky are representative of the way Traust brought the community together to release these lanterns together during the 2022 Mt. Holly Lantern Parade.

3.  The word Traust comes from the Old Norse word for “trust”.  The Traust was a central place in Viking towns and cities that was used as a gathering place.  A fire was kept burning to cook on, there was beer and mead, and all your favorite Viking friends.  They called it the “Traust '' because you could trust that you would have a good time and it was a “safe place” where no warring Vikings were allowed, everyone left their axe at the door and entered with an open heart. 

4. The Firefox is a mythical creature in Nordic culture that is said to create the Northern Lights by running through the forest, throwing sparks into the sky with its flaming tail. When we learned that the Traust Brewing Company seeks to produce synergistic experiences reflective of Nordic societies still seen throughout contemporary Scandinavia, the Firefox folklore was the perfect fit to display the Northern Lights representing the Nordic Traditions and culture that Traust embraces and celebrates, while simultaneously honoring the Mt. Holly community and the beautiful way they come together each Fall for the lantern parade. We first learned of the Firefox when it was walking through town at the 2022 Mt. Holly lantern parade. Watching everyone’s faces light up, we ran to ask the story behind the FireFox lantern and are so happy to now have it glowing on the wall.

5. The human-like form depicted in the mural is not indicative of one specific culture, but rather a mythical Being inspired by various iterations of Mother Nature. Her green skin, leafed clothing, roots and braids throughout her hair (which are representative of multiple cultures/races, including the Cherokee and Catawba Nation indigenous tribes which have roots from Mt. Holly.) 

6. Ladybugs are representative of good fortune. We had a lot of fun hiding tiny lady bugs throughout the wall. We hope everyone has fun searching for these hidden gems. 

7. This is a project that we put A LOT of love and intention into. Painting every day in the rain for 1 and a half weeks. Every paint brush stroke, every spray paint can line, every element in this wall, was created with the intention that even when we are not standing in front of the wall to greet folks, that every visitor that stops by is going to feel all of the love beaming from the artwork. One of our most favorite parts is the happy raccoon. He represents that welcoming energy. After releasing two lanterns into the sky, the raccoon is standing with open arms to greet you with a hug.

We love seeing all of the photos that everyone has been taking in front of the wall. It brings us so much joy! We always have specific intentions for the artwork, but always love seeing how it resonates with others. We look forward to seeing many more photos and hearing how people connect with the wall.