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.
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."
Welcome Center Manager
North Carolina Department of Commerce
I-26 West North Carolina Welcome Center
Mars Hill, NC
St. Mary's and
Holy Trinity Church Comments
Early in 2018, docents spent considerable time in researching, preparing information and images on the
churches, descriptions of the frescoes, and biographies of all the artists to submit to the
Appalachian Mural Trail to begin our parish's membership in that organization. We think this was a
valuable asset to our spreading the word about our frescoes and our message. This fall we learned that
for the first time ever several thousand more persons visited Holy Trinity Church than St. Mary's in 2018.
We believe a possible reason for this increase in visitors to the smaller church could be that persons traveling the
Blue Ridge Parkway and aware of the Mural Trail are more likely to stop at the nearest church to the Parkway.
Episcopal Parish of the Holy Communion
West Jefferson and Glendale Springs, NC
Interested in starting your own community
historical mural? Then by clicking
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.
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!"
Our vision is to bring world attention to mural art that tells the story of the
people. Our mission is to shine a light on public art murals that tell community
stories which help increase the pride of the local people by beautifying and
showing respect for their community.
Becoming a member of the Blue Ridge Parkway Association in October 2016 began
the first official step for the Appalachian Mural Trail(AMT). The Appalachian
Mural Trail is now drawing high quality visitors into communities where they
are learning about the community, it’s history and see the amazing art rendered
by the mural artists. Quality of life for all is being enhanced.
Communities and organizations that have public cultural murals can become a member
of the AMT. Once accepted as a member, AMT will create a a landing page on the
website, muraltrail.com, which showcases the art, tells the stories of the murals,
features the the artists' biography and give directions for visitors to find the murals.
Promotion of the Appalachian Mural Trail website
comes through the rack cards placed in state
Welcome Centers, Chambers of Commerce and other visitor centers
in major attractions throughout the Blue Ridge region and beyond. As we add new
members rack cards are placed in their area. We are members of many tourism hosts
that help us promote the
mural trail with more to come as memberships grow. Each
new member is announced in a press release to local, national, regional and
international media, drawing both visitors and locals to our website to use
the mural map for their traveling journey into cultural art and history! Social
Media includes a facebook page and each landing page has a comments/blog section.
The mural trail encourages participation in the trail through offering a free mural
trail tee shirt to visitors who take their 'selfie' in front of a favorite mural.
We also have a 'mural spotting' page for folks to make us aware of murals in their
neighborhoods for possible inclusion on the mural trail. Each new member receives
a mural trail plaque which is placed on or near the mural to signify the mural is
an important mural and worthy of inclusion on the mural trail.
After 10 years of research, the Appalachian Mural Trail(AMT) came alive in 2016 at
the hands of Doreyl Ammons Cain and her husband Jerry Cain. The project has now
blossomed into a viable, expanding success with over 80 North Carolina and Virginia
historical murals on the trail. Doreyl is currently the acting Director of the
Mural Trail and co-founder of a non-profit organization called Catch the Spirit
of Appalachia, while Jerry is the Designer and Website Engineer of AMT.
"Jerry & Doreyl enjoying a little mural spotting"
The honoring of our stories through the arts is the core essence of the
AMT’s vision and now it is becoming a reality through the
hosting of community murals in small communities to large cities throughout the
surrounding Blue Ridge. These murals are spotlighting the creativity of our
talented local artists. We believe this is enhancing the visitor's experience
and uplifting community spirit!
The Good of the Hive is an artistic initiative founded by Matthew Willey on a
personal commitment to hand-paint 50,000 honeybees in murals around the world.
Matt says, "The Good of the Hive Initiative begins with the struggle of the honeybees, but
it also views the hive as a metaphor for communities of people. Honeybees
within the hive ‘think’ collectively; their immune system is
collective: the health of the individual is based on the health of the
collective. Whether that community is an actual honeybee hive or a community
of human artists, kids in a school, military veterans,
women with cancer, marginalized people or the American
people as a whole, the health and success of the individual relies heavily
on the connections within the group and consequently between the groups
within the greater society. When we connect, we thrive." This is the message of
The Good of the Hive Initiative...
Full Article Here