Hillsboro Village neighbors, merchants and business owners are collaborating on a refresh of the 20-year-old dragon mural that spans the side of 1801 21st Ave. S., at the Belcourt Avenue intersection. With the cooperation of Vanderbilt University, which owns the property, the group has contracted with local muralist Andee Rudloff to oversee the refresh.
“Dragon Refresh” is set for Saturday, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until painting is complete) and will provide a hands-on opportunity for families, children and Hillsboro Village visitors and residents to get involved with the project.
“We’re delighted to be a part of the refresh,” Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Beth Fortune said. “The mural is an integral part of our neighborhood, both for Hillsboro Village and Vanderbilt. Its whimsical representation of the beloved sculpture in Fannie Dees Park adds to the charm and character of this great neighborhood.”
Participants can drop by anytime between 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Oct. 31 to join the project. Paint, brushes and painting assistance will be provided, and a portion of Belcourt Avenue will be closed to accommodate the event. Fido will provide free coffee and water, and the Belcourt Theatre will have chairs set up outside for spectators.
“This is going to be a wonderful event for all ages,” said Hunter Mo, chairman of the Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association. “Hillsboro Village has a long history of community involvement, and now we share that spirit with our famous dragon.”
Artists David Glick and Adam Randolph first painted the dragon mural in 1995. Neither Glick nor Randolph currently lives in Nashville, but both are enthusiastic supporters of the plan to refresh their work.
The original project took place over three weekends, and children from nearby Eakin Elementary School participated in the painting. The mural draws inspiration from the mosaic sea serpent in Fannie Mae Dees Park (known as “Dragon Park”) at 2400 Blakemore Ave. that was created by Pedro Silva in 1980-81.
“The Dragon Refresh will give this much-loved artwork a literal new coat,” Rudloff said. “It’s especially meaningful to have the community participate, just as it did when David and Adam first created the dragon. I’m honored to have the chance to help Hillsboro Village preserve this wonderful landmark.”
Dragon Refresh is being supported by a number of area businesses and individuals, including Vanderbilt University, the Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association, the Belcourt Theatre, Bob Bernstein of Fido, David Glick, Randy Rayburn and Craig Clifft of Cabana, Midtown Care, H.G. Hill, and Hillsboro Hardware.
To contribute to the project, contact Phil Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.