Photo: Tim Rand

Arts at the Palace’s parking lot pollinator garden project has launched with Tim Rand beginning work on the mural on the side of the Palace Theater building.

Arts at the Palace has been working with naturalist Morgan Elmore and artist Tim Rand to create a native plant and pollinator garden. The 30′ x 6′ garden will be certified by the National Wildlife Federation and will include native plant communities that sustain native insects and birds.

The mural is part of Rand’s Life Is Sweet project, which he began in March 2020 with a painting of a honey bee, an homage to nature’s essential worker and all those who were making sacrifices for the greater good during a worldwide pandemic. The series quickly grew, with oil paintings and murals of pollinators cropping up both in the studio and all over Central New York. What started as a way to connect with family–painting a mural seen through the kitchen window for his parents and 100-year-old grandmother–led to murals on West Park Row in Clinton and a larger piece at the Utica Zoo.  Visit Rand’s website to learn more about his work and to sign up for his newsletter.

Art’s at the Palace’s garden is a year-long project that will include a site-specific native plant garden design and installation, Rand’s mural installation, pop-up mini-gallery, educational activities, and community engagement opportunities. Arts at the Palace is maintaining a project web page on its website, where community members can follow the progress of the project and learn about opportunities to participate.

The parking lot pollinator garden is made possible by a grant from the Faith T. Knapp Memorial Fund and Small Grants Fund of the Central New York Community Foundation. This program has also been supported by past grants from the Mid-York Foundation and the Central New York Community Foundation.

Additionally, Golden Artist Colors has donated the paint to Rand for use in creating the garden mural. Golden Artist Colors and its commercial division Golden Paintworks have a long history of working with mural artists and mural art groups. Best known as the premier manufacturer of artist-grade fine art acrylics, Golden Artist Colors had its origins in 1933, when CEO Mark Golden’s Great Uncle Leonard Bocour began making hand-ground colors for artists. GOLDEN has made colors for many wonderful mural artists including William Cochran, Kent Twitchell, Knox Martin, HENSE, and hundreds of other mural artists around the world.

The Golden Paintworks Mural Paints officially launched in June of 2018.  Five years into its existence, Golden is expanding in its capacity to develop relationships with muralists and non-profit organizations, both at local and national scale. They are delighted to supply paint to a talented local muralist whose work highlights the beauty and profound importance of biodiversity within ecosystems. Learn more at