The background image above is a detail from this Ben Long fresco.
Long is a true North Carolina treasure whose art is still unknown by too many. Some of the mountain churches displaying his work remain open all the time, and the trail that connects them and their frescoes makes a terrific vacation outline: except for the language, you can imagine touring, say, in rural Spain or Italy, seeking out spectacular local art.
There are nine frescoes at six locations on the Benjamin Long Fresco Trail, all within the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Trail:
Mary Great with Child, John the Baptist, and Mystery of Faith are at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, West Jefferson, NC.
The Last Supper is at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Glendale Springs, NC.
Return of the Prodigal is at Chapel of the Prodigal, Montreat College, Montreat, NC.
Sacred Dance and the Muses is at City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium, Morganton, NC.
Suffer the Little Children is at E.H. Sloop Chapel, Crossnore School, Crossnore, NC.
St. Paul’s Conversion and St. Paul Writing His Epistles is at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Wilkesboro, NC.
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In the summer of 2019, Elizabeth and I visited sites in North Wilkesboro and North Jefferson, where I took these photos: