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courtesy of Sarah Killian, City of Hickory Communications Specialist

New Outdoor Mural at Miracle of Hickory Park

A new outdoor mural now covers the basketball court at Miracle of Hickory Park. The public art project was commissioned by the City of Hickory’s Public Art Commission and supported by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

The mural was designed and painted by artist DeNeer Davis with painting assistance from community volunteers, including art students from Hickory Career & Arts Magnet High School (HCAM) and OUTright Youth.

In honor of the mural’s completion, community members were invited to the dedication of the colorful court and a reception with the mural artist on Friday, May 24, at 5 p.m. at Hickory Music Factory. Following the dedication, a screening of Neer(ing) Perfection, a documentary about the artist, was played for those in attendance. Davis’ story comes from being a part of a marginalized community to WNBA aspirations to a career-ending injury, depression, and, ultimately, discovery of her passion for art.

Born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, DeNeer Davis is an educator, muralist, speaker, and sneaker artist. Davis earned a BA in Exercise Sports Science from UNC-Pembroke and was an NCAA Division II athlete. Davis explains, “I had dreams of playing professional basketball, but my dreams became deflated after tearing my ACL, and I discovered a new passion and talent — art. I believe art provides a vehicle to express oneself, start conversations, and be a voice for the voiceless.”

For more information about DeNeer Davis and her work, please follow her social media channels, @neerperfection on Instagram and DeNeer Davis on Facebook. Hickory Music Factory is located within Miracle of Hickory Park at 1515 12th Street Drive NW in Hickory.

The Public Art Commission, an advisory group to the Hickory City Council, works to enrich Hickory by integrating a wide range of art into public spaces that will create a visual sense of the community, improve quality of life, represent all facets of population, commemorate history, and inspire all residents and visitors. Hickory’s public art collection is comprised of over 100 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, murals, and benches.

For more information about the City of Hickory’s Public Art Commission, visit www.hickorync.gov/public-art-commission.