Barn quilt mural turning heads in Mount Ulla

Large quilt mural complete in Rowan County

MOUNT ULLA, N.C. (WBTV) - In the quiet community of Mount Ulla there now stands something that’s turning a lot of heads. It’s a barn quilt mural just installed on the side of a local store.

“It has been overwhelming, it’s just a testament to our community,"said organizer Elsie Bennett. “There’s a lot of stories to be told in these old walls.”

Now people are paying a lot of attention to the stories told on the outside wall at West Rowan Farm, Home, and Garden. Those stories inspired Elsie’s vision for the barn quilt.

“We have people that have suffered breast cancer, the symbol for suicide awareness, or MS, people that are struggling, they want to educate people about what’s going on and tell their stories," Bennett said.

The stories are told through symbols and designs on hand painted wooden boards. Brush strokes on plywood communicating messages often hopeful, sometimes tragic.

“We have people who have painted quilts for their loved ones that have passed away," Bennett added, "or something tragic from their history that they have survived and lived through.”

The barn quilt is hard to miss if you’re driving on Highway 801 near Graham Road, and why would you miss it? It serves as art, but also has commercial value for a store that has served the community for more than one hundred years.

“The people that have come out and are part of this mural, they’re showing us that they do care about us and all of our hard work and sweat and tears are worth keeping this store alive in this community for another hundred years," said Bennett.

A big brick canvas telling stories, sharing memories, and defining a community.

“They want to tell their stories and they want to be part of this because it’s bigger than us and they know it will live on for years to come and that’s important to the people around here," Bennett said.

This new mural is the latest addition to a barn quilt trail that exists in Rowan County. Information about the trail and Rowan Barn Quilt Trail Association calendars is available at the store.

The store has a cruise-in for cars from 5 to 8 Friday nights, a ride-in every Saturday and a Summer Sunday Nights Bluegrass Musician Jam from 5 to 8. The store’s Community Ice Cream Socials are held Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the summer and fall.

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