King Chad’s legacy will live on at Disneyland with a Wakanda salute.
A touching, powerful mural honoring the late Chadwick Boseman was unveiled Thursday at Downtown Disney.
The colorful artwork, dubbed “King Chad" and created by artist and children’s book author Nikkolas Smith, shows Boseman, dressed as the Marvel hero Black Panther, sharing a “Wakanda Forever” moment with a child cancer patient, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Boseman died Aug. 28 at the age of 43.
Smith shared photos of his work on Thursday on his Instagram account, with the artist giving the Wakanda salute in front of the mural.
“This one is special,” Smith wrote on Instagram. "It is a full-circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the Children’s Hospital project and the Avengers Campus.
“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. I’m so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick’s life and purpose in this way. I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist.”
The child in the mural is wearing a hospital gown to honor Boseman, who visited cancer-stricken children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital while waging a private battle with colon cancer, Variety reported.
Boseman was diagnosed in 2016 with Stage 3 colon cancer, Variety reported. Boseman never spoke publicly about his diagnosis and worked through his treatments during the final years of his life, the magazine reported.
Smith is donating a portion of the sales of prints of the mural to St. Jude and Children’s Hospital L.A., the Times reported.
“This morning, a heartwarming and beautiful piece of art was put on display in #DowntownDisney,” Disneyland President Ken Potrock wrote Thursday on Instagram.
“We are deeply honored to feature ‘King Chad’ as a tribute to our beloved ‘Black Panther’ hero, Chadwick Boseman. Many thanks to concept artist (and former Disney Imagineer), Nikkolas Smith, for sharing this inspirational tribute to Chadwick’s life and legacy," Potrock wrote.
Individual prints of Smith’s portrait are available for $120 on the artist’s website.