Our vision is to follow the Blue
Ridge Parkway through N. Carolina and Virginia and find already existing historical
murals and also help communities create outdoor Appalachian historical
murals within an easy driving distance from the Parkway or
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.
Our Virginia and N. Carolina "Mural Maps" has Parkway Milepost directions to each dedicated mural. The Appalachian Mural Trail
is being promoted by the Blue Ridge Parkway Association, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Smoky Mountain Host, High Country Host,
Blue Ridge Mountain Host, rackcards at all North Carolina Welcome Centers with Virginia pending, Social Media and also with national and regional media, drawing both
visitors and locals to our website to use the mural map for their Parkway journey into Appalachian art and history!
The Blue Ridge Parkway at 17 million visitors last year attracted more people than the Grand Canyon, Eifel Tower
or Great Wall of China.
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 Member/Sponsor" to have us promote your mural throughout the Blue Ridge Parkway and beyond.
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("Triangle Park") 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!"
"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!"
Press Release 2018
The Appalachian Mural Trail Group
A Subsidiary of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Non-Profit Org.
Contact: Doreyl Ammons Cain
Storytelling is a vivid part of Appalachian culture, stories are handed down, drifting through many generations. Today there has appeared an even more colorful way of passing our tall tales to future generations, historical public mural art. Magnificent murals speak of life here in Appalachia as they shine a light on mountain heritage and creativity. The Appalachian Mural Trail has been developed as a way to document and share these huge works of art with the world.
The Appalachian Mural Trail came alive in 2017 at the hands of Jerry and Doreyl Ammons Cain. The project has now blossomed into a viable, expanding success with 45 North Carolina historical murals on the trail.
"People enjoy the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains through experiencing nature on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Now visitors can learn more about our mountain ways as they travel into the towns and communities on a mural quest, a cultural treasure hunt!" says Doreyl Ammons Cain, mural trail Director. "We are inspiring small Appalachian communities to create their own high quality outdoor heritage murals; painting folk tales, Cherokee legends, mountain music and the beauty of the land. These murals are placed on an interactive website, muraltrail.com where visitors can select and create a personalized mural trail route with driving time & directions. Most murals are within driving distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway and directions are based on Parkway mile markers. The Appalachian Mural Trail is designed to help the mountain economy through drawing Parkway visitors into the small, quaint mountain towns where they can dine and find lodging.”
Currently there are two mural maps on muraltrail.com, North Carolina and Virginia. The mural trail project started in North Carolina and is now moving into Virginia. Any town, community or business in Virginia is now eligible to be added to the Appalachian Mural Trail if they have a historical mural within driving distance of the Parkway. The Appalachian Mural Trail is a partner with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and also is a member of the Blue Ridge Parkway Association. The Smoky Mountain Host, the High Country Host and the Blue Ridge Mountain Host are marketing organizations that list the Appalachian Mural Trail, promoting the trail to visitors throughout the mountain area and on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Both North Carolina and Virginia Welcome Centers are distributing rack cards. Other marketing includes press releases to local, regional, national and international media. Dedication events for adding each mural to the mural trail are highly promoted through all the media.
"We invite areas who already have murals to sign up! Simply go to www.muraltrail.com and select ‘membership’ and fill out a simple submit form. If you’d like to get started on creating your own historical mural, select ‘Partnership’ then fill-out the form and hit submit. All of your questions can be answered by selecting ‘contact the Director,” says Cain. "Gateway cities are also invited to sign their murals to the mural trail. Cities that are the doorways to the Appalachian Mountains, like Richmond Virginia and Greensboro & Winston Salem, North Carolina.
The major "gateway cites" are the portals by which the Blue Ridge Parkway travelers usually enter by air from great distances. These gateway cities have a great potential for large tourism numbers from these Parkway bound travelers.The Blue Ridge Parkway sees 16 to 18 million visitors a year. Our plan is to attract these visitors before they begin their Parkway journey. A specialized Gateway Mural Trail interactive page is being developed to inform the visitors of any local murals that might be near their route out of the city. If the visitors like what they see on the inner city trail, then they may decide to spend some of their stay in the city before heading out to the Parkway.
A new website, www.muralspotting.com is now available for the general public to upload pictures of murals they spot. The Appalachian Mural Trail will also select murals that may fit on the mural trail from the uploaded pictures.
"We are especially interested in the WPA New Deal murals that were painted in the 1930s and 40s and placed in post offices throughout the country," says Cain. "There are quite a few of the WPA murals in the Appalachian Mountains. Our precious mountain heritage and it’s amazing stories need to be shared with the world, thereby uplifting the way we see each other and telling the truth of who we really are, talented, creative mountain folk who love to tell a good story!”
Image attached- WPA New Deal historical mural in Boone NC, "Daniel Boone on a Hunting Trip" now on the Appalachian Mural Trail and the logo for the new Appalachian Mural Trail mural spotting website: muralspotting.com (art by Doreyl Ammons Cain) Larger images are available upon request.
After 10 years of research, the Appalachian Mural Trail came alive in 2017 at
the hands of Doreyl Ammons Cain and her husband Jerry Cain the co-founders.
They live in a tree house on a nature preserve and her art studio is a yurt in the WNC mountains.
The project has now blossomed into
a viable, expanding success with over 45 North Carolina historical murals on the trail.
Doreyl is currently the acting Director of the Mural Trail. She has also co-founded
a non-profit organization called Catch the Spirit of Appalachia.
"Jerry & Doreyl enjoying a little mural spotting"
The honoring of our
mountain heritage through the arts is the core essence of the Appalachian Mural Trail’s vision and now
it is becoming a reality through partnerships with other communities and organizations throughout the
Appalachian Mountains. Becoming a member of the Blue Ridge Parkway Association in September 2016 began
the first official step for the Appalachian Mural Trail, where the mural trail is featured in the Blue
Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner, listed in their calendar of events with links to the mural
trail web site and featured in the Blue Ridge Parkway mobile Travel Planner application.
The Appalachian Mural Trail will draw high quality visitors from the Blue Ridge Parkway into the
communities where the visitors will eat, sleep and purchase from local businesses. These visitors
will learn about the community, it’s history and see the amazing art rendered by the mural artists.
Quality of life for all will be enhanced. Employment of those artists who create the murals and the
increase in local commerce will create new jobs. The community itself will be uplifted through the
honoring of local culture through their own outdoor historical mural, as the mural will be accessible
to all peoples.
As more communities join the Appalachian Mural Trail more marketing efforts can be added for marketing
purposes. Currently the mural trail has joined the Smoky Mountain Host, the High Country Host and the
Blue Ridge Mountain Host. Eventually spin-offs will be developed to help sustain the project. A book
about the communities and mural artists will be published, a collectable mural map suitable for framing,
mural art note cards and art prints will all be available for sale from the Appalachian Mural Trail website.
The major "gateway cites" are the portals by which the
Blue Ridge Parkway travelers usually enter by air from great distances. These
gateway cities have a great potential for large tourism numbers from these
Parkway bound travelers.The Blue Ridge Parkway sees 16 to 18 million visitors a year.
Our plan is to attract these visitors before they begin their Parkway journey.
A specialized Gateway Mural Trail interactive page is being developed to inform
the visitors of any local murals that might be near their route out of the city.
If the visitors like what they see on the inner city trail, then they may decide
to spend some of their stay in the city before heading out to the Parkway.
As of now we see the major "gateway cities" as including
(Richmond,VA Greensboro,NC Winston-Salem,NC and Charlotte,NC) and we will be promoting the mural movement
through out these areas in the near future.
We are currently in Richmond looking for great historical murals
that are worthy to be dedicated to the Appalachian Mural Trail.
So check back with us often to see the new surprises that are coming.