“Brushstrokes of possibility”—Live HealthSmart Alabama murals bring new life to Kingston community

One of the many colorful projects in Kingston
One of the many colorful projects in Kingston. Photo via Steve Wood

Live HealthSmart Alabama, a UAB initiative brought to you by The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, has just added some bright pops of color to the Kingston neighborhood. From murals and play areas to micro-mobility centers, check out how Live HealthSmart Alabama and Blank Space Birmingham came together to create these community-centered projects that will last a lifetime.

“Welcome to the barbecue.”

The color purple is a big hit around here.
The color purple is a big hit around here. Photo via Blank Space Bham’s Instagram

The design process for the Stockham Park Project in Kingston was led by Jessica Snyder in Fall of 2020. Through careful planning, they developed ideas they knew would resonate well with the Kingston community. They knew they wanted to create a logo that symbolized the neighborhoods of Kingston well, plus they wanted to redevelop open air spaces.

Through partnering with organizations like Blank Space Birmingham, the Kingston Coalition and the Kingston Neighborhood Association, they made dreams come true. Bright colors and fun shapes were abundant as Synder and team planned their project.

“The bright colors bring to mind emotions of happiness and positivity — two things we want associated with this space. People love to seek out beautiful things, and we think more people will be drawn to interact with the park and playground.”

-Jessica Snyder, UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, Program Manager

Unity Phrases

They chose unity centered phrases like “welcome to the barbecue” and “fly high and set the pace”—a nod to the previous Kingston mascot, a pacesetter eagle. Through positive words displayed in the community, they hope to offer encouragement to residents to chase their dreams. Live HealthSmart Alabama was more than happy to share those positive messages.

Megan McCollum, founder of Blank Space Birmingham recalls her involvement in the project:

“Art is done with people, not just for them. And so, when we had residents who lived near where we were working bring us food and thank us for bringing art to their communities, it was such a powerful thing.”

-Megan McCollum, Blank Space Birmingham, founder

About Live HealthSmart Alabama

Live HealthSmart Alabama Mural.
Live HealthSmart Alabama Mural. Photo via Steve Wood

Live HealthSmart Alabama was born in 2019 and addresses significant community-wide health problems. Combining forces in city government, education and institution, they improve the lives of those in the community.

The overall goal is to lift Alabama out of the bottom 10 states in national health rankings. In order to make a change, they are partnering with some of our favorite organizations to build up communities such as Kingston and Titusville—their latest projects.

While they bring their own volunteers and partner with organizations like Blank Space Bham to execute the painting process, they like to involve their community members as much as possible. Through this, they truly become a part of their community and build toward the future. Talk about a positive impact!

Murals play a huge part in the success of Live HealthSmart Alabama. By creating visual elements that bring color and joy to an ordinary wall, the team at Live HealthSmart Alabama hopes to spark Birmingham’s imagination.

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Olivia Moses
Olivia Moses
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