Latest Public Awareness Press Releases:

FOR RELEASE January 2017
Doreyl Ammons Cain
Appalachian Mural Trail, Jackson County
828-293-2239, artist@muraltrail.com
Western North Carolina

What’s the Value of an Outdoor Historical Mural?

“It’s priceless,” says Chris Joyell of the Asheville Design Center, (a non-profit where pros give their time to accomplish problem solving for towns and cities at the basic level.) “At one time ‘The Block’ (East End) area of Asheville was a thriving central business district for African Americans throughout the mountain area,“ he says. “Most all their needs were met there. The district thrived until the late 70’s when Urban Development started changing small communities, moving families into public housing. Soon the local businesses weren’t supported, for there was no density for businesses. We took a look at what could be done now, and part of what we came up with was a 270 feet linear outdoor historical mural to save the history of this remarkable part of Asheville. Along with saving history with the mural, the development of new affordable housing and visitor friendly hotels are now being added to the neighborhood."
We found a paid Vista Volunteer, public muralist Molly Must, and as lead artist she began an adventuresome journey into the history of East End, first hand. For nine months she spent time with the residents, ate dinner with them and looked at old photos. Finally she met with me and rolled out a 270 feet sketch of the mural. I was blown away!”
Then other volunteers helped out. Just Folks, a local group of residents in East End, Andrea Clark (who furnished photographs of the East End), Lee Buckner (who helped with screen prints), UNCA & Pack Libraries, Asheville Schools Foundation, Mountain Housing Opportunities, NC Arts Council, Sherman Williams and nine other local artists helped with the completion of the mural, including Ian Wilkinson, Ernie Mapp, Twila Jefferson, Harper Leich and Liana Murray. After one year of work they named it the Triangle Park Mural, a true community mural that will keep the heritage of the East End for generations to come. Panel by panel the mural moves through the years to 2013.
The Triangle Park Mural in Asheville, NC will be one of the first murals in 2017 to be dedicated to the outdoor historical Appalachian Mural Trail, along with the Shindig on the Green "Golden Threads" musical mural by Doreyl Ammons Cain and the "Chicken Alley" mural by Molly Must.
There’s an added value in bringing a diverse community together to create an outdoor historical mural project. Small towns can begin to ‘wither on the vine’ when community spirit becomes low. A community betterment project breathes life back into a downtown area. Small towns like West Jefferson in Ashe County, NC have seen the results of outside public murals. This town has 14 murals in the Downtown area. One especially interesting mural is painted on the outside wall of Geno’s Restaurant called “Unity in Diversity.” Standing almost 30 feet high, the colors and scenes are brilliant! The lead artist was Mary Ann DiNapoli-Mylet who led the Ashe County Middle School students in painting the mural. These children are of many races- Hispanic, African American, Caucasian and Asian-American. The sense of unity and excitement the children brought to the mural is tremendous! Now in downtown West Jefferson the only thing lacking is parking spaces for all the visitors who come to see the murals.
Another small North Carolina town engaging the local schools in creating murals is Old Fort in McDowell County. This tiny historical town has eight murals downtown, painted by local artists with the history content inspired by local primary school children. A grouping of seven murals called the ‘Seven Wonders Trail,’ is a collaborative project, connecting members of the non-profit Arrowhead Artists and Artisans League, the Old Fort Chamber of Commerce, and the Old Fort Elementary School. Seven downtown businesses in Old Fort have the murals displayed of seven treasured Old Fort Landmarks. The largest mural in Old Fort is called “A Time to Build.” Standing around 18 feet tall, the mural tells the story of their beginning history.
The Appalachian Mural Trail has developed a long range plan to include these priceless murals and all future murals into a trail of murals encircling the Blue Ridge Parkway. Each mountain community and downtown area now has opportunities to join the mural trail to create their own outdoor historical mural or showcase what they have already developed. Simply go to muraltrail.com and fill out the appropriate form and hit submit! Call 828-293-2239 to find out more about being a part of the mural movement!       

The image below can be found at:

"Shining a light on the Blue Ridge"

    Our vision is to follow the Blue Ridge Parkway and find already existing historical murals and also help communities create outdoor Appalachian historical murals within an easy driving distance from the Parkway. These murals will shine a light on the rich heritage of our mountains using talented local artists to complete each mural. We believe this will enhance the visitor's experience to the area through educating them about our rich heritage through art, while sharing the creativity of the mountains.

    We are designing a simple map that has Parkway mile marker directions to each mural. The Appalachian Mural Trail will be promoted by the Blue Ridge Parkway Association, drawing both visitors and locals to our website to use the mural map for their Parkway journey into Appalachian art and history!

Asheville's Citizen-Times Article on Appalachian Mural Trail Start-Up

Go here to submit for a future mural partnership

    Interested in starting your own community historical mural? Then by clicking "Mural Partnership", we can help you with 'how to-' select a mural site, call for artists, research your community history, select a mural artist, paint a mural (including materials, transferring images) and dedicating a mural to the Appalachian Mural Trail. If you already have an historical mural in place, then click on "Mural Membership" to have us promote your mural throughout the Blue Ridge Parkway.

"The Fall Mural"

This mural was created to show the diversity of the pioneers who settled the Appalachian Mountains in Western North Carolina. Inclusive with the African American, Cherokee and the Scotch Irish settlers, this art shows the spirit of the mountains! Go to www.doreylart.com to see more works of fine art which illustrate the beauty of "little bits of Appalachia!"

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