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By Benjamin F. Long IV | Completed April 2004

Ben Long's "Sacred Dance & the Muses" is a permanent art piece located on the gallery ceiling of CoMMA. Ben Long completed the fresco April 19, 2004, and the fresco became part of the Blue Ridge Heritage Trail in 2014. Blue Ridge Heritage Trail.

The photos below will give you a glimpse of the spectacular fresco at CoMMA. Of course the best way to view the fresco is to relax into one of our viewing chairs and soak in the artwork. Stop by CoMMA and enjoy!  You can view the fresco Monday -through Friday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and during all public performances.

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The idea to put a fresco on the gallery ceiling of CoMMA was conceived by the theater's first director, Bill Wilson. Such a massive project was going to take a lot of help from local residents, and the City of Morganton assembled a funding group, the Burke County Endowment for the Arts. The group solicited donations from businesses, industry, individuals, & other contributing sources.

Concept sketches and drawings were developed in 2003, and at the same time, a new roof system was added to the Gallery and the existing ceiling was removed to make way for the mesh and plaster coats that would accept the fresco. Contemporary fresco master Ben Long, with a team of three master artists and six apprentices, started to apply the final coat of wet plaster on January 12, 2004. Long began the painting on January 13, 2004. The project was completed on April 19, 2004.

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