Disney’s latest tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman is an artist’s interpretation of the very real impact the Black Panther star had on his millions of fans. Artist Nikkolas Smith created a mural of Boseman at the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, which was officially revealed on Thursday.
Though Disneyland remains closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, the nearby shopping center is still operating. And now it will house a tribute to Boseman, who died of cancer in late August at the age of 43.
“This one is special,” Smith said in an Instagram post about the mural. “My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney.”
The artist, a former Disney Imagineer, shared more details about the mural, which features Boseman crouching down to give the Wakanda Forever salute to a Black child wearing a Black Panther mask. He explained that the commission was a “full circle moment” for him and touched on the impact Boseman’s work as T’Challa had on the community as well as the mural’s goal.
“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,” Smith wrote. “I’m so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick’s life and purpose in this way.”
The post includes the official unveiling of the mural, which was hidden behind a sheet until Thursday. Smith later signed it and posted in front of it several times, including with a child of his own.
“I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist,” Smith wrote.