Randall Hedden greets crowd at stage mural unveiling.
October featured a number of dedications to expand the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy with a focus to encourage appreciation and enjoyment of the arts. As these memorable events have come to fruition, opportunities have arisen for other alumni and locals to contribute to the vibrant art scene.
While embarking on a project of passion and respect, we had the opportunity to meet with VU Alumnus Randall Hedden as he returned to his Trailblazer roots. During his visit, Randall had the opportunity to reconnect with many of the familiar faces from his hometown while also getting to see just how much the Vincennes Campus had grown. In addition to these highlights, the project also allowed him the chance to come back to complete his mission of leaving his own positive mark on the city.
Recognized for his expertise in art and speed painting, Randy established a local reputation by painting a mural on the Gimbels building in 1978 (later restored in 2005). Unfortunately, when the building unexpectedly burned down in 2011, Randall felt like he had lost part of his legacy and felt a calling to leave something behind for his hometown again.
As is often the case, opportunity arises in unexpected places. Randall found his chance in the form of a project proposal to memorialize Red Skelton’s memory on a stage mural located inside the Historic Pantheon Theatre - rumored to be one of the places that inspired Red’s career the most.
Randall Hedden worked on a mural for Red Skelton in the past and had much respect for his legacy. He gladly accepted the challenge of recreating the star along with several other actors and actresses who had either performed alongside him or on The Pantheon’s stage itself (pictured above).
Beginning his work at his studio in Arizona, the mural took 537 days until finished in Vincennes, where Randall added the final touches. With great enthusiasm the community of Vincennes opened up the stage curtains once again to Red as Randall joined Mrs. Lothian “Red” Skelton to unveil the mural in the theatre that he dreamed of the most.