Follow the Ben Long Fresco Trail
Visitors who follow the Ben Long Fresco Trail in Western North Carolina will find a touch of renaissance art in such unlikely places as a police station and bank building as well as a civic center, municipal auditorium and a few rural churches. Thanks to the effort of North Carolina native Ben Long IV, this unique trail showcases this unusual form of art to thousands of people who visit the frescoes each year for their religious significance and for their artistic merit. Frescoes are more common to Europe and Long spent many years learning from European masters to bring the craft back to his home. He created the first frescoes for free to assist two rural churches that were in need of attention. Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church in West Jefferson is home to one of his most popular and controversial images, Mary Great with Child. The Ben Long Fresco Trail now features 11 locations across seven counties in Western North Carolina and makes a perfect addition to an art tour along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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