A beautiful new mural in Birmingham honors The World Games 2022

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There’s a huge new mural in Oak Mountain State Park. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

What used to be a plain old fountain in Oak Mountain State Park has been transformed into a colorful work of art thanks to Hibbett I City Gear and The World Games 2022. This mural marks the most recent installment of a series of murals popping up around Birmingham in preparation for the much anticipated 11th edition of The World Games 2022 in Birmingham. Find out the story behind this mural and the rest of the project.

Preparing for The World Games 2022

The 2022 World Games
This mural is actually in a fountain. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

2022 is almost here and that means The World Games is coming to Birmingham. This exciting event will bring athletes and fans from all over to our beloved city, so it’s time to welcome the world.

Kathy Boswell, Executive Vice President of Community and Volunteer Engagement, came up with the perfect idea to both leave us an everlasting legacy and welcome visitors to Birmingham. This is a creative project consisting of four murals around Birmingham all revolving around The World Games 2022 and a core theme of unity.

The project is being backed by Hibbett I City Gear and painted by local artists.

“Hibbett’s goal with the mural project is to further enhance our beautiful city with art and culture for the community to enjoy today and as a legacy to remain after the games are over.”

Sarah Sharp-Wangaard, VP Marketing, Hibbett

Two of the murals have already been completed, one in Pepper Place and the most recent in Oak Mountain State Park.

It’s the Right Time

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The mural is a part of a series of four others. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

The name and corresponding theme of this campaign is “It’s the Right Time” and each of the murals reflects a different message around what it is the right time for. The Pepper Place mural states “It’s the right time to Believe in Birmingham,” and the Oak Mountain mural reads “It’s the right time to love one another.”

Both of these messages received input from Hibbett I City Gear and The World Games 2022, but the artists received full creative range on design and what those messages meant to them personally as citizens of Birmingham.

The Pepper Place mural was created by Meghan McCollum of Blank Space Bham, a popular mural painting organization that is behind many of the iconic murals found throughout our city currently. This mural lies in a bustling area of downtown and its eye-catching rainbow background reinforces the obvious—now is the best time to be in beautiful Birmingham.

The World Games 2022
The World Games 2022 mural reminds us to love each other. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

Looking at the most recent mural inside the Marina Fountain at Oak Mountian State Park, you’ll see a giant message wrapped around in a circle reading “It’s the right time to love one another” along with The World Games 2022 title and Hibbett City Gear written out.

“The message is two-fold: we are expressing our love for our great city of Birmingham and the people that call it home, but the message also applies to the artists behind the mural and recognizing that all of us are a part of something greater than ourselves.”

Sarah Sharp-Wangaard, VP Marketing, Hibbett

Oak Mountain will be the setting for many of the outdoor events in next year’s games, and this mural will be a visual reminder to all spectators of the love we have for each other and our city.

The artists behind the projects

The World Games 2022
Local students collaborated to create this amazing art piece. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

This enormous 12,000-foot mural took over 80 people to complete and three days of painting. The artistic genius behind this project comes from local high school art students. Briarwood Christain School art teacher, Belinda Youngblood and her students worked together to brainstorm and execute this beautiful masterpiece.

“From the concept design to the final painting, our love for each other, the City of Birmingham, and our desire to welcome the world has been the theme.”

Belinda Youngblood, Art Teacher, Briarwood Christian School

Using the location as inspiration, the artwork showcases several tiles that were painted around the fountain on a background of blue to look as though they are floating in the water. The multicolored tiles depict images of the sports that will take place at the games. 

Are you excited for The World Games 2022? Keep up to date on all the excitement and news by checking out their website and following them on Instagram and Facebook.

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Miranda Shaffer
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