Powerful mural tribute to Chadwick Boseman unveiled at Downtown Disney
A mural celebrating the larger-than-life legacy of the late Chadwick Boseman was unveiled Thursday at Downtown Disney.
The colorful illustration, “King Chad,” by artist and children’s book author Nikkolas Smith depicts the beloved actor sharing a sweet “Wakanda Forever” moment with a child cancer patient while dressed as his Marvel superhero, Black Panther.
“This one is special,” Smith posted on Instagram, crossing his arms in a “Wakanda Forever” pose in front of his portrait of Boseman in Anaheim. “My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney. It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the Children’s Hospital project and the Avengers Campus.
“To millions of kids, T’Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman. I’m so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick’s life and purpose in this way. I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist.”
After he was cast as King T’Challa in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Boseman visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to inspire kids battling long-term illnesses while secretly fighting his own illness. Boseman died last month at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
In Boseman’s honor, Smith is donating a portion of the sales of prints of the mural to St. Jude and Children’s Hospital L.A.
“He would never let the kids see that he was fighting cancer too,” Smith wrote on Instagram in August. “To them, he was and will forever be T’Challa... The King.”
The mural is the latest salute to Boseman from Disney, which also aired an ABC tribute special honoring the trailblazing actor shortly after his death and broadcast “Black Panther” commercial-free in his memory.
“This morning, a heartwarming and beautiful piece of art was put on display in #DowntownDisney,” Disneyland President Ken Potrock wrote Thursday on Instagram.
“We are deeply honored to feature ‘King Chad’ as a tribute to our beloved ‘Black Panther’ hero, Chadwick Boseman. Many thanks to concept artist (and former Disney Imagineer), Nikkolas Smith, for sharing this inspirational tribute to Chadwick’s life and legacy.”
Individual prints of Smith’s portrait are available for purchase for $120 on the artist’s website.
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