Thursday, July 25, 2019

Murals in West Jefferson

If you have been to West Jefferson, you will have seen the variety of murals decorating the sides of the buildings downtown. The mural project began in 1996 and was part of an Arts in Education Residency Grant funded by the North Carolina Arts Council. Additional funding was provided by Handmade in America with the West Jefferson Community Partnership and the Ashe County Arts Council. 

Today the thriving downtown area is dotted with a number of unique works of public art that showcases the history, culture and beauty of our High Country mountain region. 

One of my favorite is the "Angel Wall" next to the Hotel Tavern on the BackStreet. Painted by Raney Rogers. Visitors and locals both enjoy photographing themselves in front of the wall. 


Located on the side of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce is a mural titled "New River Traditions" and painted by Marianne DiNapoli Mylet in October of 1998.  Also painted by the same artist is the mural titled "Unity in Diversity" 


This mural located on the side of Boondocks Brew Haus and was done in the summer of 2006 with students from Ashe Middle School. They wanted to create a mural that reflects the landscape of Ashe County, the music and people who live and work here. The mural was painted on fabric panels that were adhered to the wall with a special adhesive. 

Painted by Robert Johnson and located on S. Jefferson Avenue is "Spring Wildflowers on Mount Jefferson" 

"Cut at the Devils Stairs" painted by Stephen Shoemaker is located on the Dollar Building at E. 2nd Street. This mural is reminiscent of the time that the railroad was a vital part of Ashe County. 


In 2004 with collaboration from Ashe County High School and artists Earle Klutz Thompson and Raines Thompson painted "Wings and Things" on the wall of the Ashe County Cheese Plant with help from over 125 students and community volunteers. 



Local Ashe County artist Whitney Landwehrmann has recently added the "Tree of Appalachia" to the side of the Third Day Market and her new mural is drawing a lot of attention. 


More information on some of the murals located in the county can be found on the Ashe Arts Council website https://ashecountyarts.org/murals.php 


Take a walk through the West Jefferson downtown area, which mural is your favorite? 




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