LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While some were downtown preparing for Thunder Over Louisville, artists were memorializing Louisville's own Muhammad Ali on the side of the 10th Street YMCA.
The seven-story tall image of Ali covers the East wall of the historic Chestnut Street Family YMCA, which is just two blocks from Ali’s alma mater, Central High School.
Shepard Fairey painted the mural; he's most widely known for his iconic "Hope" poster for Barack Obama's presidential campaign as well as large-scale murals around the world.
Louisville native Eddie Donaldson, also known as the artist GuerillaOne, and the nonprofit Artists for Trauma have spent months bringing the project together.
Organizers and officials from the YMCA say that the image can serve as a motivation for anyone coming into the YMCA, and also a symbol of peace for the community.
“After the mass shooting on Monday, I’m devastated for the victims, their families, and the entire community of Louisville,” Fairey said. “I believe art is a tool of healing and peace so I hope the mural I’ll be painting of Muhammad Ali, a United Nations Messenger of Peace, will serve the moment as well as encourage thoughtful reflection about peace and Ali’s ideals into the future.”
Officials say the mural is based on a photo by Ali's “personal photographer,” Howard L. Bingham. Bingham is estimated to have captured a million images of Ali over three decades.
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