A! Magazine for the Arts

 The Appalachian Mural Trail recently welcomed Marion as part of their project.

The Appalachian Mural Trail recently welcomed Marion as part of their project.

Marion joins Appalachian Mural Trail

July 31, 2018

The town of Marion is the newest member of the Appalachian Mural Trail, the brainchild of Doreyl Ammons Cain, who serves as the organization’s director.

“Our vision is to follow the Blue Ridge Parkway through North 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 Gateway Cities,” said Cain.

“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.”

The Appalachian Mural Trail recently welcomed Marion as part of their project. “The four murals located in Marion, Virginia, are magnificent,” said Cain. “We are honored to be a part of this regional tourism initiative,” added Ken Heath, Marion’s director of community and economic development. “By using these unique works of art, we are showcasing our town’s assets to a whole new audience, and our shops, restaurants, lodging all benefit from folks coming to visit. With every visit, we have an opportunity not only to ring the cash registers, but to invite our guests to move here, to be our neighbors, to open their own business here. It’s a win for everybody.”

The featured art piece is Marion’s Musical Heritage Mural, which pictures tunesmiths and landmarks from the home of “The Official Television Series of Virginia, Song of the Mountains.” This televised bluegrass and Americana music show is taped live from the historic Lincoln Theater in downtown Marion. “Song of the Mountains” host Tim White is also the artist for this mountain music mural, as well as the artist for the Bristol Sessions mural in nearby Bristol, Tennessee. The Marion’s Musical Heritage Mural is painted on the side of Hester’s Country Store and Fudgery on Main Street, just across from the Lincoln Theater, where “Song of the Mountains” is taped.

Another popular mural added to the Appalachian Mural Trail, a “Giant Welcome to Marion” postcard mural, features a stylized postcard mural with local scenes, designed by Holly Thomas. It can be viewed from the Marion Gateway at the entrance to historic downtown on Route 16. “Patchwork of Marion,” Marion’s first mural, designed and also painted by local artist Holly Thomas contains stories of Marion’s community’s history woven into a quilt design on the Historic Herb House on Pendleton Street. And a series of glyphs painted on the back of the Lincoln Theatre across from the downtown parking garage, “Mayan Mural” represents a series of Mayan themed glyphs from the interior design of this restored 1929 theater. Artist design was Kristin Untiedt-Barnett, following the theater design of the original Mayan Revival scenery from Novelty Studios of New York.

For additional information on Marion, visit www.marionva.org. For information on the Appalachian Mural Trail, visit www.muraltrail.com.