Community members and organizers were recognized at the Migrating Princeton ribbon-cutting in downtown Princeton on Jefferson and Main streets Thursday.

The installation has 38 butterfly pieces that were designed by Debbie French and Michael Evan Young. Volunteers painted and colored them.

The butterfly interpretations signal a transformation and migration of the mind, body, and soul. During uncertain and unpleasant times, imagination serves as a vehicle for escape and wonder, French said.

Besides the butterfly art pieces, Young, a welder and designer, contributed a wrought iron sign that invites interested spectators to the Migrating Princeton installation.

The Migrating Princeton project has been underway in Princeton since February. A scavenger hunt took place in March, and the butterfly installations surrounded the center of town and were lodged in various locations, reminding residents to transform and migrate their thinking.

Farmers Bank Ambassadors helped organize the project. They collaborated with Create Princeton.

Kylie York was one of the Farmers Bank Ambassadors who attended the art installation ribbon-cutting.

York said planning the event began in October, but the COVID-19 pandemic thwarted progress that prolonged the timeline.

She said it centered on “Intriguing the youth of the Princeton Community.”

York said although Princeton is situated in rural Kentucky, it does not necessarily pin residents down to farming and sports.

“Our community is very supportive of sports and extracurricular clubs,” York said. “The butterfly project was a great way to get our youth involved in the community, and to work with their fellow students.”

Create Princeton and ambassadors felt that visual and physical art in downtown Princeton should be immersive and captivating, whereby residents can become a part of the project, and stimulated by the sensory experience.

“People our age are very big on taking pictures and documenting things that happen in our life,” York said.

She is graduating from Caldwell County High School next month and is looking forward to having an opportunity to return to Princeton after college to collaborate with Create Princeton and the Farmers Bank Ambassadors program.

In mid-June, the installation will relocate to other sites within Princeton and Caldwell County.

French, who sits on the Create Princeton board and is the artist who originated the idea, said the project will, “help the city regain some of its art.”

She said she feels that art is needed in every community and that it is what makes a community thrive, especially during a public health emergency.

“It gives people a chance to imagine or reimagine outside of their experience,” French said.

Create Princeton will be hosting a table at the Caldwell County Farmers Market every first Saturday of the month. The market starts May 1.