Art enthusiast on the
Mural Trail            



Welcome to the Appalachian Mural Trail!

"Discovering Art along the Way"








    Brighten your day, click on 'mural maps' and look at magnificent murals created by passionate mural artists and community groups. Find your favorite murals, then create your own itinerary with directions to travel and see the murals first hand. Once you're lucky enough to be in front of a real mural, snap a 'selfie' in front of the mural and upload it to our selfie page. You'll really be lucky, for you'll receive a free tee shirt in the mail that says, "I hiked the Appalachian Mural Trail!"

    We are inspired by the honey bee hive where all community members work together for the well being of the whole. Many of our members worked as a community to create murals that tell the story of their town. Some of the murals hold the brush strokes of dedicated townsfolk, both young and old. Mural artists rendered the sketches and communities helped paint the works of art. What has been realized is that the communities involved had a rise in local pride, the town upgraded itself more throughout and the economic impact was felt by everyone.

               The Hidden Message from the Honey Bee Hive

    Other murals had individual artists that were commissioned by a concerned town or townsfolk to beautify and show respect for their community. Some of these amazing murals are blocks long or hidden in bathrooms.

Enjoy your journey into the Appalachian Mural Trail!


             Welcome Center Comments

"We have travelers say they went on the mural trail and enjoyed it very much. You folks are doing a wonderful job."

     Vickie Sealock
     Welcome Center Manager
     North Carolina Department of Commerce
     I-26 West North Carolina Welcome Center
     Mars Hill, NC



    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 "Member/Sponsor" to have us promote your mural for a small annual fee throughout the Blue Ridge and beyond.



                       Community Spirit

   Over the past 20 years small rural towns have seen their Main streets dwindle into shadows of what they were in the past. Businesses close down and areas of disrepair seem unstoppable. Yet some small mountain towns have found solutions by strengthening their community through working together to create something to be proud of.

    One of the murals now featured on the Appalachian Mural Trail was the brainstorm of Holly Thomas who wished to create a large mural to feature the history of Marion and Smyth County Virginia. Holly planned it to be a community project to restore pride and hope in an area hit hard by recession. After much research she created the first rendering of the mural in the fall of 2009. She finished the final drawing in the spring of 2010.

    "We wanted more than one artist to paint this mural to create community pride and ownership of the project. It was never about me as an artist, or what my vision was, but about creating a touchstone for learning and self-esteem for Smyth County and Marion," says Holly.

    Approximately 25 different volunteers took turns working on the project: school children, young Job Corp volunteers and their oldest participant, Evelyn Lawrence. In her 90s, Lawrence came and sat in a chair and painted the feathers on the hat belonging to her mother, Susie Madison Thompson, a pioneering educator in Smyth County.

    The community mural is accompanied by a fence and benches, so people can sit and look at the mural. The fence project was a Boy Scout eagle badge project for Ferris Ellis. The front of the fence is painted as a tribute to Smyth County children and the county's heritage, and the back is painted as a tribute to Smyth County farmers. All who worked on the mural project enjoyed the challenge and working together with others in the community. Those who were retired or unemployed found purpose during those days and hope that things would improve.





"The Fall Mural"
In a private collection

    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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Blue Ridge National Heritage Area