The downtown murals are one facet of West Jefferson's personality. The mural project began in 1996 and today West Jefferson features fifteen beautiful, intriguing, unique works of public art that showcase the history, culture and beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Each mural tells a story, they offer a glimpse into our lives, an appreciation of our community and gives us a sense of civic pride.
"The mural projects began as a way of showcasing local and regional artists. The Arts Council wanted a visible "hook" to attract attention to the downtown area and to the high quality artists and galleries in West Jefferson," explained Jane Lonon, Executive Director of the Ashe County Art Council.
During the summer months, the second Friday evening of each month, a gallery crawl is sponsored by the Arts Council. It is an evening that people come to West Jefferson, North Carolina to have dinner, tour the galleries, stroll the streets and see all the murals painted on the buildings.
"New River Traditions" is located on the A1 Mountain Realty building which is also home to the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce. It was painted by Mary Ann DiNapoli-Mylet and was sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council and Revitalization Committee and completed in October of 1998. This mural is the one shown in this article.
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