Papilion opens with mothers' discounts and happy little artists

May 10—Honor Heights Papilion will attract a number of artists and Bob Ross wannabes this Saturday.

"It is such a beautiful spot, and it has a lot of artistic things to paint," said Leah Hayes, president of Muskogee Art Guild. "It's just the whole layout of the beautiful gardens and the structure. It has great opportunities for painting."

The Papilion will host the guild's fourth annual Bob Ross Appreciation Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday as part of its opening weekend.

The Papilion's season runs from Mother's Day weekend through September. Mothers accompanying their children get in for free Sunday. Otherwise, admission is $3, or $2 for children, military or seniors.

Hayes said Bob Ross Appreciation Day participants are strongly encouraged to dress like the famed artist, known for his beard and big round perm. Ross hosted the PBS program "Joy of Painting," which often featured him showing how to paint landscapes.

"This is just a hats off to Bob Ross for inspiring so many people to paint," Hayes said. "We like to think we can also do that with the Muskogee Art Guild. Our whole theme is for people to start imagining drawing, painting, creating. So, we are trying to channel some of his celebrity into bringing more people into MAG and enjoying painting."

People dressed like the artist can be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate.

Participants are encouraged to bring painting supplies, lunch and beverages, Hayes said.

The Papilion's artistic opportunities include the Georgia-Pacific Butterfly House and 10 themed flower beds planted by Muskogee County Master Gardeners.

Papilion Operations Manager Robin Aguirre said the butterfly house could have about 250 adult flying butterflies, plus 74 chrysalises. He said there could be 26 different varieties of butterflies.

This year's beds have two themes.

"One side is basically eco-type beds," he said. "You can use flowers from one bed to dye fabric. There's a bed that is strictly a nectar type of bed for birds and butterflies. There's a bed that's a water-smart bed. Then there is an insect repellent bed."

The other set of beds show a color wheel.

"The center bed has primary colors and they expand out to the secondary colors," Aguirre said.