Walking into Lady Fern feels like stepping across the threshold into the bright, welcoming soul of Parkdale. The air is light, the tunes are refreshing, and the clothing, handcrafts and art are unique and locally-made. Owner and artist Brooke Yokers opened this space just over a year ago to feature local artisans, artists, and makers.
This is why, when it came to a project she’d been dreaming of for years, Yokers looked no further than local artist Audrey Mae Bernhardt. Her work is featured inside the comfortable walls of the shop, but the owner and artist came together with something much bigger in mind: A large-scale mural featuring plants native to the region.
“This wall has been hideous since I moved to Parkdale,” Yokers said, “and I’ve always wanted someone to paint a mural on it. After I opened the shop, I was just talking with Audrey about it a year ago, and we finally decided to do it.” The project is grand in size and features delicately striking painted renditions of some recognizable local favorites, including lupine, skunk cabbage, amanita muscaria, bear grass, chanterelle, mullein, fox glove, morels, fireweed, miner’s lettuce and trillium.
Bernhardt, who has painted several murals in the past, is tackling the painting on her own, but the project really has been a creative collaboration for the two. And they are now looking to the community for even more inspiration — you can email Yokers with your ideas for favorite local plants and flowers to add even more magic to this work. The community has been showing up to admire the mural, ask questions, introduce themselves to the artist, and even snap selfies.
“Someone called out to me from across the street last week just to let me know that her daughter follows me on social media,” said Bernhardt, adding that residents and visitors seem to love the beauty it’s adding to the small town. Nate Clarke, Parkdale, who owns Nate Clarke Painting, donated the paint and use of the scaffold.
Yokers and Bernhardt are currently working on a new collaboration inspired by local plants, and they intend to launch both that work and the mural with a community event this summer.
To learn more, share your favorite plant, or to contribute financially to this magical work of art, email email@example.com. Lady Fern is located at 4959 Baseline Drive in Parkdale. Learn more by following their creative story on Instagram @ladyfernparkdale.