New Downtown Disney artwork honors Boseman

Wave Staff Report

ANAHEIM — A new artwork at Downtown Disney pays tribute to the late actor Chadwick Boseman.

The painting features Boseman as T’Challa, his character in the Disney movie “Black Panther,” and a young boy.

It was painted by Nikkolas Smith, a former Disney imagineer who calls the work “King Chad.”

“As a former Disney imagineer, I had the honor of working on a major children’s hospital initiative and Avengers campus as my final two assignments,” Smith said. “Seeing Chadwick’s heart for people in person, and later discovering his courageous battle with cancer, I was inspired to create this tribute to honor his life and legacy.

“To us, he was and will always be T’Challa. Long Live The King.”

The artwork is on the west side of the Downtown Disney District in front of what used to be the ESON Zone.

Smith was on hand Sept. 24 to see his artwork unveiled. A native of Houston, who now lives in Los Angeles, Smith is a concept artist, children’s book author, a Hollywood film illustrator and an artivist.

He is the author/illustrator of “The Golden Girls of Rio,” nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and “My Hair Is Poofy And That’s Okay.”

As an illustrator of color, Smith is focused on creating captivating art that can spark conversations around social justice in today’s world and inspire meaningful change. Many of his viral and globally shared and published sketches are included in his book “Sunday Sketch: The Art of Nikkolas.”

He also speaks at conferences, workplaces and schools all over the country and leads workshops in digital painting, character and movie poster design.