Proposed mural to honor history of Shindig on the Green

Artist Doreyl Ammons' mock-up of the 24-foot mural she hopes to paint in Pack Square. Photo courtesy of the artist

Doreyl Ammons Cain, a visual artist and co-founder of the local nonprofit organization Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, has volunteered to paint a 24-foot mural in Pack Square Park called “Golden Threads” to honor Shindig on the Green’s equally enormous history.

Since the mural project will cost $10,000, local groups Folkmoot USA and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area have joined Catch the Spirit to hold a fundraiser, Passing the Music On, featuring performers who focus on mountain heritage.

Cain and her sister, mountain storyteller Amy Ammons Garza, started Catch the Spirit to preserve Western North Carolina history. “We realized what a precious treasure it is here, and how it should be honored,” Cain says. “That’s our mission of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia — to show the great creativity and traditions that we have here.”

After painting murals for the town of Dillsboro, the Jackson County Public Library and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Cain decided to focus her sights on giving Shindig its own permanent corner of Asheville.

The outdoor concert series has been a summer staple in Pack Square since 1967, highlighting the region’s heritage with traditional mountain music, dancing and storytelling. For three months Cain interviewed prominent performers like David Hope and Bryan Sutton to prepare for “Golden Threads,” which she says will be a year-round reminder of Shindig.

“I like making public art where people can see what we have here in the mountains,” Cain says. “I think it’s something that changes the whole community when there’s art that honors the area. I think it’s one of the most important things I can do.”

Cain has attended Shindig for 15 years with her husband, drawing inspiration from acts like the J. Creek Cloggers and fiddlist Carley Arrowood. Now she plans to paint these performers and more in her mural. However, completion relies on how much money can be raised through donations. “It’s a long, hard road on this one,” Cain says.

Folkmoot USA, an annual international arts festival, will lend its Waynesville-based center to the Passing the Music On fundraiser on Sunday, June 14, from 2-5 p.m. The event will feature regular Shindig acts like the J. Creek Cloggers, The Ross Brothers, Carley Arrowood and ballad singer Betty Brown.

Garza will tell a story about growing up in the mountains while Cain will paint a spontaneous 8-by-6 interpretation of the story. A pottery and artwork auction and a cake walk will also take place at the fundraiser.

Tickets for Passing the Music On are $10 for adults and $3 for children under nine, and all proceeds will benefit the project. If you’re unable to make it to the fundraiser, you can donate funds through the North Carolina Arts Council’s crowdfunding initiative as well.




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About Samantha Glaspy
I hail from Hendersonville, N.C., attend Appalachian State University for journalism and am currently an intern at Mountain Xpress. Follow me @samglaspy

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6 thoughts on “Proposed mural to honor history of Shindig on the Green

    • Samantha Glaspy

      Hi, ashevillain7! Sorry for the delayed response. From the crowdfunding page: “The mural will be installed on an outside wall of Packs Tavern, Asheville, NC, where it will be within yards of Shindig’s Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage.”

      • ashevillain7

        Oh, ok. That makes more sense than painting it in Pack Square proper. This article and the caption both say “Pack Square” instead of “Pack Square Park” where the mural is being proposed.

        It’s a confusing distinction. Pack Square Park should have been left to its old name – City-County Plaza – to avoid such confusion.

  1. Commissioned

    The advent of commissioned art. You know what that means — gentrification around the corner.

    • hauntedheadnc

      What is there in or near Pack Square to be gentrified? I don’t see any of the subsidized downtown housing going anywhere, and The Block already has too much money flowing through it to be considered a candidate for gentrification. It’s already gentrified.

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