'I will always love you': Dolly Parton fan goes big with West Asheville mural

A mural of Dolly Parton in West Asheville, located at the corner of Haywood Road and Mildred Avenue. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A colorful new artistic landmark is sure to draw a lot of traffic on social media.

Country legend Dolly Parton isn't a hometown hero, but her larger than life mural has already made some people stop in their tracks.

"I have loved her for years," Terra Marshall, owner of Beauty Parade salon, said. "And I am just inspired by how wonderful she is to the community and what a great human being she is."

The piece is at the corner of Haywood Road and Mildred Avenue in West Asheville.

Artist Gus Cutty modeled the mural after a vintage photo. He took just four days to complete piece, "workin' 9 to 5," or whenever required to get it done.

"I'm a huge fan of like young Dolly, so I was going for that," Cutty explained. "Really wanted to capture the flavor of her earlier music."

The final result gives us a snapshot of big hair and a bigger heart.

"Just really going for, like, the southern look," Cutty said.

The Parton mural replaced the image of a little girl licking ice cream.

"It's a joy to look at," says neighbor Michelle Hickey, who noticed steady progress every time she walked by. "I cannot believe how creative people can be."

"The eyelashes, look at that!" she marveled. "Isn't that just spectacular."

"Dolly's songwriting is just insane," Marshall said.

To understand how deep her admiration really is, you have to step inside the hair salon where she and a picture of Dolly Parton are like "Islands in the Stream."

"I actually got that at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville, Tennessee," she said.

So, when it came time to spruce up the building, saying "Hello Dolly" was a no-brainer.

"She's a Smoky Mountain queen," Terra says.

"It was amazing that (Cutty) could take an image of his phone and translate it to the wall," said Hickey.

True fans might say it was painted with a Coat of Many Colors.

"The precise strokes with a spray paint can, yeah, it was amazing," Hickey recalls.

Now Terra's on a social media campaign to lure the country icon. So, "Parton" the interruption, but they have a request.

"We would love for her to come see it," she said.

"C'mon by Dolly, we'd love to have you here," Hickey added.

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