The Key Note - A Town Blog
September 29, 2020
Fall in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains is hard to beat. The cooler weather, clear skies and changing landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for exploring, and one way to do that - a scavenger hunt, specifically one involving outdoor art.
Did you know there are over ten murals in downtown North Wilkesboro, ranging from Tuscan panoramas, restored ghost signs, history lessons, a nod to our musical heritage and more. Strolling the streets here is like walking the isles of a giant local gallery.
There's the vintage Mountain Maid Ice Cream ad, two large Coca-Cola logos and a Lowe's Hardware mural, all restored ghost signs. All were brought back to life by local artist, William Vance Nichols, and can be found on D Street and beside the North Wilkesboro Police Department.
On the corner of Main Street and Gordon Avenue, you'll find a spot for angel-wing selfies, that includes a photo op for your favorite pooch. Further down the street, to the 500 block, is our newest addition - "Recycled Rooster" by artist Andrea Baldwin. This piece is located on a 100 year old business, Lowe Fur and Herb. It was inspired by owner Myra Lowe who operates the recycling center, specializing in metal processing, scrap metal, trapping and hunting supplies and ginseng sales.
Every mural may not be "your cup of tea", but undoubtedly each one adds vibrancy and spirit downtown. Truth is, towns with bold public art expressions break the trend of blandness and sameness, and give us a stronger sense of place and identity.
Much of the funding for our murals was provided by the NC Arts Council, Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership, the Kulynych Family Foundation, Wilkes Art Gallery, and other private donors.
North Wilkesboro is a member of the Appalachian Mural Trail Association. Visit their website for a list of murals in Western North Carolina.