Appalachian Mural Trail

Town of Wilkesboro
"Where the Mountains Begin"
Wilkesboro, NC

Blue Ridge MilePost: 276.4
Latitude:36.148297, Longitude:-81.151977


Mural Artist: Wes Gregory(1967-2015)
Trail Member/Sponsor: Town of Wilkesboro

Mural Description

    The "Where the Mountains Begin" mural celebrates the colorful landmarks and legends of Wilkes County: Stone Mountain State Park, W. Kerr Scott Reservoir, and Doc Watson. Local artist Wes Gregory designed the mural of Doc Watson, a well known area musician who helped begin the Watson Festival at Wilkes Community College.

    Wilkes Art Gallery 2015 Summer Honors Art Program participants are: Danielle Addington, Sydney DelBridge, Mikayla Howell, Brittney Johnson, Payton Osborne, Katherine Poteat, Erica Walker, and Trey Warren. The summer enrichment program pairs professional artists with talented, local high school students to create works of public art for the community.

    In appreciation of Kelly and Jennifer Royall for sharing their building as a canvas for public art.

    Funding for the mural was provided by the Wilkes Art Gallery, the Town of Wilkesboro, and Valspar Paint.

    The Wilkes Art Gallery Summer Honors Art Program is sponsored by The Kulynych Family Foundation and Katherine Ann Greene Foundation.

Wes Gregory Bio

    Wes started drawing when he was very young and won his first art contest at age 8. By ninth grade, he won first place in a national art competition for artists aged 13 to 19 for Seventeen Magazine. Wes won for his watercolor portrait of his great-grandfather who was a violin maker from Ireland.

    He later won first place in the Congressional Art Caucus 6th District in 1985 for his watercolor of Churchill Downs with horses in the foreground and his winning artwork hung in the White House during the Reagan administration. Wes was inspired by a photo of a hunt in the forest of Fontainebleau, France, that he saw in National Geographic and painted a stunning oil painting of it.

    Wes had also created numerous paintings, drawings and Intaglio prints that are beautiful and he continued to create new artwork, in addition to his many designs for the interiors and exteriors of residential and commercial projects.

    His last great art work was the building-sized mural of Doc Watson for the town of Wilkesboro, which was created and designed by both himself and his wife Gia, and executed and installed primarily by Wes, with the assistance of his wife. Always the gentleman, he didn't want his wife up on the lift truck or any scaffolding. They both put an incredible number of hours into the mural, over three and a half months, and he would work all day and paint much of the night too! He was an extraordinarily gifted artist who left his imprint on the world.

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