Gillespie mural in downtown Roanoke receives refresh

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 7:13 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A mural in downtown Roanoke, painted more than 40 years ago, is receiving a refresh.

It was designed by nationally-known artist and Roanoke native Dorothy Gillespie in 1975, and painted four years later.

This week, Jack Fralin and Dana James began applying coats of sealer. Paint will follow over the next two weeks.

“I’m excited about bringing it back,” Fralin told WDBJ7 in an interview. “She (Gillespie) had donated all of her papers to Rutgers University. We were able to see the photographs, and original colors of it, and take those as cues for what’s going to happen next.”

Fralin and James are doing the work, but there are many partners in the project, including the Roanoke Arts Commission, Downtown Roanoke Incorporated, building owner Quintessence Properties and the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation.