Piece by Piece

courtesy Rivers Agency

Locally made puzzle celebrates North Carolina

by Jessie Ammons

If you’re in the mood to hunker down this winter, you can pass the time by piecing together a puzzle created by local painters. Three artists from Carolina Meadows retirement community in Chapel Hill painted a lively mural, All Things Carolina, celebrating North Carolina: The detailed scene includes landmarks – lighthouses, the state capitol, and the Biltmore Estate – and cultural icons such as canoers in the mountains, racecar drivers near Charlotte, and native birds flying over the coast. The original 7-and-a-half-by-6-foot canvas captured the interest of a puzzle-maker in Winston-Salem, and now puzzle versions of the work are for sale. The artists will donate all of their their proceeds to UNC-TV, and Heritage Puzzle Company will donate a portion of sales. Lead artist Margaret Zircher says supporting UNC-TV is a way for she and collaborators, Susan Gaca and Bill Davis, to give back to the mural’s inspiration. “North Carolina is a treasure trove of history and culture … and UNC-TV is multimedia communication for all of North Carolina.” Much like the mural and puzzle, Zircher says UNC-TV “educates, inspires, and entertains audiences of all ages.” While much of the vivid work is self-explanatory, All Things North Carolina includes a key providing background information and fun facts about all 53 landmarks pictured. Zircher says the key is one of the best parts, because there’s always something new to learn about North Carolina’s history. Even Zircher, Gaca, and Davis learned new facts while painting the state. “This month, Susan, Bill, and I are going to Lake Mattamuskeet to observe the winter bird migration, thanks to interest generated when we painted the mural. What fun we had painting!”

The 18-by-24-inch puzzle is available for $16.95; heritagepuzzle.com/product/all-things-nc-puzzle