In April 2022, Jared Wheatley painted the first display at 217 Coxe Avenue; along the building, simple black-and-white calligraphy shares the words Cherokee Nation in Cherokee syllabary. By October there were at least four more syllabary murals plus more graffiti-style creations around town, made by indigenous artists from around the country during an October "graffiti jam." "When we started the project ... there was no public representation of native art. And now, we've brought more than 15,000 square feet of native public art to Asheville."

Besides the additional art downtown, the project has hosted several events since its inception, and are planning for more. The Indigenous Market showcasing intertribal makers is scheduled monthly through 2023 on third Saturdays. "These will be the first Indigenous Markets held in Asheville -- that anyone's aware of -- since the 1980s," he says. "Even today, I don't know anyone who was involved in it or who knows about the original markets."

Intertribal Market Intertribal Market




Indigenous Walls Project Indigenous Walls Project




Ten intertribal vendors, representing five nations, are already committed to the first market, with the hopes of attracting more Native representation with each event. Beadwork, canvas arts, paintings, silversmithing, baked goods, basket weaving and contemporary, mixed-media Indigenous art can be expected at these markets.

Come to the Intertribal Market. Meet the artists. See the art. Learn more from the links above. But in the end, as Wheatley said, it's actually not about the art, but how the art is paving the way for something bigger.