The Greater Jackson Arts Council (GJAC) has announced that Jackson has been officially selected as one of ten national location sites for a Limited Edition Signature Series Keith Haring Fitness Court by the San Francisco-based National Fitness Campaign.
A City of Jackson park (at the southeast intersection of State Street and Woodrow Wilson Avenue), across from Children’s of Mississippi, will be home to this project. The fitness court merges eye-popping, colorful creations from an art world superstar with a state-of-the-trend outdoor fitness court fostering wellness, movement and community engagement.
“GJAC is leading this effort as part of our new commitment to bring the joy and vibrancy of art into larger issues,” Silbrina Wright,” GJAC Executive Director says. “Fitness is a primary pillar of health, and anything we can do to make it more fun, beautiful and accessible to everyone is a win for this community.”
The Jackson City Council adopted the partnership with the National Fitness Campaign with a formal resolution at today’s session. Planning and fundraising for the effort have already begun, and the Keith Haring Fitness Court is expected to be constructed and operational by the end of the calendar year.
“This is an example of Jackson’s rising reputation as a radical city doing incredible things,” said Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. “In selecting us, the National Fitness Campaign saw a real commitment to arts and wellness infrastructure, a wide set of stakeholders who could work together quickly and an exceptional public space for what will ultimately be a jewel for the City.”
Keith Haring (1958-1990) is a name synonymous with public art and charitable good works. His daring move in the 1980s to make his sought-after designs accessible to people from all walks of life disrupted the art scene and threw down a gauntlet that made him a visionary far ahead of his time. More than just creating works of art, he fashioned a universal visual language that lives on as an incredible legacy.
“It’s a brilliant concept—this fusion of accessible, celebratory art with health and fitness,” said Rickey Thigpen, President and CEO of Visit Jackson. “And to be one of only ten selected sites in the country? It will be a real boost for Jackson tourism marketing.”
David Lewis, Deputy Director of Human & Cultural Services for the City of Jackson said Jackson’s enthusiasm for public art has grown exponentially over the last few years.
“This honor to stage a showcase featuring an artist of Keith Haring’s magnitude is only going to set the stage for greater things throughout the community,” Lewis added.