Bearden alum Moldrup paints mural across from Blue Grass Elementary


Lily Price

Bearden alum Cooper Moldrup paints a mural on a retaining wall across from Blue Grass Elementary.

Lauren Holman, Staff Writer

Cooper Moldrup may have graduated from Bearden in 2017, but he is still contributing to the surrounding community and one of its feeder schools, in particular.

The freelance graphic designer and muralist is painting a mural on Ebenezer Road across from Blue Grass Elementary.

The mural is in the style of a vintage greeting card and will incorporate elements of Knoxville, Blue Grass, West Valley Middle School, Bearden High School, and the University of Tennessee. 

“I think this mural is unique because it represents a little bit of every aspect of the community in it,” Moldrup said. “Within the letters, there will be a bulldog for Bearden, a wolf for West Valley Middle School, an eagle for Blue Grass Elementary, Neyland stadium for UTK, and the sunsphere, among others.

“I think it is just a sweet little homage to Knoxville and this West Knox community.”

Moldrup is suspending himself on the wall in a harness to scale up and down the wall in order to paint it all. He was commissioned to paint the mural by the PTO Board at Blue Grass Elementary.

“I think it will just add a bit of life and energy to the community that it was lacking in that specific area,” Moldrup said. “It will hopefully be a really beautiful and fun sight to see as kids play on the playgrounds at school across the street or people are driving to and from work or running or biking down the sidewalk.”

The mural will improve the scenery around Blue Grass in a creative way that will bring the community together. It will tie the community and the similarities they share together in an artistic way.

“I hope that this mural makes this part of the Blue Grass community a little more bright and fun and beautiful as opposed to the drab old graffiti-ridden retaining wall that it used to be,” Moldrup said.

In these trying times, mutual support within a community is valuable. Covid-19 has brought a lot of challenges this year, and feeling separated from the people around oneself is a massive obstacle for many individuals.

Despite the difficulties of this year, the mural will bring a little more sense of pride and camaraderie to the people of Knoxville. The mural will remind the people of Knoxville that everyone in the community is rallying behind them and that they are all in this together.

“I think adding something that is bright and beautiful to the community is really sweet and encouraging right now,” Moldrup said. “I think it will raise people’s spirits hopefully in this time that has been really hard and sad for so many people.

“I also think that is a very uniting thing, bringing people from all cultures, ages and backgrounds in the area together as they all get excited to see their community brightened up even just a little bit.”