Marshall is a historic mountain town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the French Broad River. Just 20 miles north of Asheville, Marshall’s mix of tradition, creativity, and community attracts visitors from across the region. Across the bridge from downtown, Blannahassett Island is a 10-acre oasis along the French Broad River that provides locals greenspace, access to the river and hosts many of Marshall’s outdoor festivals. The island is also home to Marshall High Studios, a restored, historic school that houses 26 working artists.

Downtown Marshall is experiencing a renewal fueled by a growing community of artists and creative entrepreneurs investing in residential and maker spaces, galleries and other new businesses.

Marshall’s SmART project is to create a wayfinding system that connects the arts resources of downtown to Blannahassett Island and reflect the unique character of place.


Site visit with Stone Cloud Studio and local artists. Photo by Sydney Steen.
Site visit with Stone Cloud Studio and local artists. Photo by Sydney Steen

Stone Cloud Studio was chosen after a national call to artists to develop a plan for creative placemaking in Marshall. Stone Cloud is a collaborative venture that couples the talents of artists Lara Nguyen and Todd Frahm. The artists are currently conducting community engagement events in Marshall and will present a conceptual plan of artwork to the community in spring 2020.