California gay club honors Dolly Parton with huge, outdoor mural

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The finished Dolly Parton mural outside Strut
The finished Dolly Parton mural outside Strut (Photo: Matt Fitt)

A gay bar and club has paid tribute to Dolly Parton with a giant, 50-foot by 20-foot mural of the legend on its exterior wall.

The artwork can be seen outside STRUT, 719 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, in Orange County, California.

The mural took around a month to complete. It was painted by Long Beach artist David Gilmore and unveiled with a ceremony last Saturday (March 13).

Related: Dolly Parton-inspired rooftop bar opens at Nashville hotel

Besides being a strong LGBTQ ally, Parton has made headlines in recent months helping to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. She donated $1million of her own money to Vanderbilt University last year, which went to help the development of the Moderna vaccine.

As humble as ever, Parton recently downplayed her role in the vaccine’s development, telling USA Today, “I think I’m getting more credit than I deserve. But I was just so happy to be a small part, and to plant a seed that would grow into something bigger.”

STRUT wanted to both dedicate the mural to frontline workers and honor Parton.

Strut CEO & Founder, Luke Nero (left) and local artist, David Gilmore in front of wall dedicated to mural at Strut, prior to the artwork being created
Strut Founder, Luke Nero (left) and local artist, David Gilmore in front of wall dedicated to mural at Strut, prior to the artwork being created (Photo: Supplied)

“When I learned about Dolly Parton’s role in the funding of Moderna’s vaccine development, I was incredibly proud,” says Luke Nero, Founder and CEO of STRUT in a press statement.


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“Not only is she an icon in the queer community and beyond, but she is truly a model of inclusivity. It’s my hope that our mural will add positivity and a sense of togetherness to our Costa Mesa community while recognizing the contribution of frontline workers and serving as a symbol of hope for better times ahead.”

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(Photo: STRUT/Facebook)

STRUT closed in March 2020, in line with local Covid restrictions, and remained closed for almost a whole year. It finally reopened last Friday night, in time for the mural’s unveiling on Saturday. Nero hopes members of the public will stop by to take photos and selfies with the artwork.

“My intention with my work is to be inclusive,” says artist Gilmore. “Hopefully anyone, regardless of age or gender or race or identity, can see themselves in what I’m creating and know that we’re all in this together.”