So many times as a young girl, I witnessed prejudice and felt the numbing suffering that rejection inflicts on others. In my innocent mind, a strong desire was born to heal the sense of separation that created such pain. My artist’s way became a landscape of bright colors and cheerful, inclusive public art to uplift everyone who took the time to see.
Inclusivity is the basic motivation for our nonprofit Appalachian Mural Trail, where we are privileged to see wonderful projects happening.
There’s an added value in bringing a diverse community together to create an outdoor historical mural project. Small towns can begin to “wither on the vine” when community spirit becomes low. A community betterment project breathes life back into small mountain towns.
One especially interesting mural is called “Snowbird Cherokee Matriarchs,” just completed in Robbinsville. Standing nearly 20 feet high, the mural colors and scenes are brilliant! I and members of the Cherokee Snowbird community painted the mural. Women of the tribe were honored in this mural. The sense of unity and excitement the mural brought to the town is tremendous.
The Appalachian Mural Trail, a subsidiary of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, has become something to do for visitors and locals that’s safe, and visiting these priceless murals does uplift the spirit. Each mountain community now has opportunities to join the mural trail to create their own outdoor historical mural or showcase what they have already developed.
Recently, new murals are being developed throughout the Appalachian region. Western North Carolina is becoming a part of the cultural mural movement! Downtown Asheville shares many inclusive murals, including the Triangle Park mural, the fresco at the Haywood Street Church, the Shindig on the Green mural and the Lexington Gateway mural.
With every new inclusive public mural comes less separation and more inspiration to create true community. Visit muraltrail.com and join the mural movement!
— Doreyl Ammons Cain
Appalachian Mural Trail