BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Aside from its unprecedented chaos, 2020 brought murals and a new sense of vibrancy to the streets of the Birmingham area.
The latest addition to that collection – a tribute to (from left to right) influential rapper Nipsey Hussle, NBA great Kobe Bryant, and award-winning actor Chadwick Boseman – all three of whom died in the past two years.
“It gave me a sense of purpose,” A. Nichel, the artist behind the mural said. “It made me feel like what I was doing, I was doing something for the youth. I believe that a person’s job in life is to inspire.”
A. Nichel is a popular local artist and a self-proclaimed Nipsey Hussel, Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman fan. She said while she was working on the mural, neighborhood children told her just how cool it looks. She hopes her art leaves a last impression on those young ones.
“I’d like for them to remember the three influential people they saw painted on the wall, or they’ll remember that I was a girl painting on the wall.”
A. Nichel said throughout the painting process, she noticed people were blown away that she was NOT a man.
“When I’m not here, people think [the artist] was a guy.” A. Nichel said. “‘They came up and said, ‘I thought you were a man!,” She said. “No, I’m a woman! I’m inspired too!”
The mural is located alongside the forthcoming sports apparel shop The Kloset in the Fairfield neighborhood. Founder of The Kloset, Tamarcus Pruitt, worked with A. Nichel on the design.
“It was great to collaborate with her – I hope it spreads hope and life into the community,” Pruitt said.
The mural doubles as an indicator of what The Kloset sells. The shop will sell shoes, jerseys, fraternity and sorority apparel and more.
“The design I did on their jerseys is pretty much what he offers,” A. Nichel said. So it’s pretty cool!”
You can find the mural at 5200 Valley Avenue, Fairfield, AL. The Kloset opens Feb. 20, 2021.
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