The Mountaineer

by Eligiah Thornton

April 19, 2023

Gather your brushes and artistic talent and come volunteer for the Haywood County Arts Council’s Cherokee Mural project this weekend, April 22 and 23, at the arts council headquarters in downtown Waynesville.

The mural will adorn the back of the building, providing a colorful addition along Wall Street. It will include Cherokee symbology — animals, trees, and plants that have references to the Cherokee culture, as well as phrases in both Cherokee and English translations.

Volunteers will be working under the direction of Cherokee Artist Lori Reed, who is the art teacher at Cherokee High School and designed the mural.

The cost of the mural is $10,000, which included grants of $2,900 from the Mib and Phil Medford Endowment and $2,000 from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.

The HCAC building has undergone renovations recently including a new deck, a rain garden on the back flanking Wall Street and a more inviting space for the community to enjoy.

The Cherokee-themed mural is a fitting partnership between the arts council and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which recently purchased the building that houses the arts council.

“I think it’s important that we preserve and highlight the Cherokee Culture in Waynesville,” said Haywood County Arts Director Morgan Beryl. “The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians bought our building a little over a year ago, and it’s been great.”

The building underwent a series of structural renovations in 2022 after being sold to Kituwah LLC, a real estate investment and development arm owned by the tribe, which has purchased numerous properties in Haywood County over the past two years, from downtown commercial property to vacant land for housing developments.

Beryl is thrilled that the mural will be coming to life and encourages all those artistic folks to come out and lend a hand. She encourages those who come out to wear comfy clothes, and also says there isn’t a lot of shade so come prepared.

An official unveiling for the mural is set for May 5, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature a Cherokee inspired exhibit — renewing the fire through education.

The volunteer shifts are two hours and time slots to sign up are available online at