Fresh paint for Dinkytown murals

Dinkytown’s famous murals, like the Bob Dylan painting on 4th Street, will be refurbished this summer after a decade since their original creation.

The Good Neighbor Fund has chosen the Dinkytown Business Alliance to be a recipient of a grant to help restore and seal murals in Dinkytown.

Easton Green

The Good Neighbor Fund has chosen the Dinkytown Business Alliance to be a recipient of a grant to help restore and seal murals in Dinkytown.

Maraya King

Dennis Anderson has cut hair in Dinkytown for 40 years. Every day, he walks past the famous and deteriorating Bob Dylan mural to work at the Hair Shaft on “Positively 4th Street.”

The Dylan mural is one of several murals in Dinkytown now set to be restored and resealed this summer with a grant from the Good Neighbor Fund, over 10 years since their creation.

“Each day, I walk by Dylan and see his paint falling off,” Anderson said. He added that visitors, many from out of town, often stop to have their picture taken with the mural.

The $7,500 restoration grant was allocated to the Dinkytown Business Alliance and contracts for the work are still in progress.

The alliance is fixing the murals because they are staples of the area and can be seen throughout, said DBA President Randal Gast.

DBA originally asked for $11,000 to cover restoration costs and the addition of a new mural, Gast said. 

The DBA will once again seek out University of Minnesota design and art students to lead its new mural. The six current murals, including the Bob Dylan painting, were drawn by University graphic design student Sergey Trubetskoy in 2006.

The works cover Dinkytown’s history from the 1960s and 1970s, depicting artists from the era as well as themes of peace and music. Recognizable murals include the Bob Dylan painting, a Jim Morrison drawing and the Peace Protests mural behind Burrito Loco.

While the current funding won’t pay for a new mural designed by University students, Gast said DBA is still looking for other sources to ensure it happens. 

Anderson said the paintings have suffered from deterioration and minor vandalism in recent years and unless they are refurbished, the murals will go unnoticed in the future.

Restoring the murals is part of DBA’s larger effort to preserve Dinkytown’s unique identity and history, said DBA Coordinator Katie Thering.

Gast said the murals have become a part of Dinkytown and are worth saving, “to maintain the eclectic identity of Dinkytown.”

The project is expected to finish by November.