Dolly Parton Tribute Created by High Schooler Vandalized

by Chris Haney

Recently, a teenager in Texas painted a mural of country music legend Dolly Parton in his high school’s parking lot, which took hours to complete. Sadly, the mural was vandalized following its completion, but the teen is vowing to recreate his artwork once again.

Aledo High School senior Will Lepard started to cover a wall in his bedroom with Dolly Parton albums during his freshman year of high school. He didn’t know much about her but started listening to her music and watching interviews of her. It didn’t take long for Lepard to become a fan of the iconic singer for her music and kind-hearted nature.

When it came time to paint his senior parking spot, the teen knew exactly what he wanted to paint – Dolly Parton. It took Lepard hours of work to complete his artistic vision of Parton. While speaking to local Dallas-Fort Worth news outlet NBC 5, the teen explained how he found time for the extensive art project.

“Definitely more than 40 hours,” Lepard said to NBC 5 about how long it took to finish. “Because I was trying to prep stuff here at the house. And then going to the high school and using all my spare time outside of work to make sure I finish it before school starts.”

Teen Promises to Recreate Dolly Parton Parking Lot Mural

After all of the hard work Lepard put into his Dolly Parton artwork, he got an unfortunate phone call this past Saturday about it. Someone used black spray paint to deface Parton’s image with a Batman symbol and the letters “BW” and “DS.” Lepard’s mother, Molly Michel, heartbreakingly broke the news to her son after she found about it.

“So, I literally broke down in the store. Told my husband we have got to go, called him crying because I’m just heartbroken. That was like his masterpiece,” Michel said to NBC 5.

The young man’s art in the parking spot was the only one at the school that was vandalized. Therefore it was hard to not feel targeted by the cruel act.

“When I got the call, I didn’t know if I should cry or if I should get mad,” Lepard said to the outlet.

However, Lepard isn’t letting the situation get to him. That’s easier said than done for his mother.

“He has God’s grace all in him because he’s like ‘That’s just paint,'” Michel said of her son. “But not to me. That’s my kid.”

Instead of giving up, Lepard decided he’s going to paint the Dolly Parton artwork all over again. Plus, he’s getting support from his local community, which has stepped up to lend a helping hand with the project.

“First of all, I can show myself I can do better,” Lepard said. “And also prove to whoever did it that I’m not going to give up for a spot that I spent so much time on.”

The Aledo school district is looking into the incident, but so far they haven’t identified the vandals. Their investigation is ongoing and they’re asking anyone with information about the incident to come forward.