- 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Muhammad Ali once called Hank Aaron, “The only man I idolize more than myself.” These two titans of the American sports scene have much in common as heroes who endured racism and faced down challenges with conviction. See this original art installation that explores the historic role both athletes played in the fight for civil rights, and inspires guests to examine their own convictions and beliefs.
The stirring mural places Ali and Aaron in the context of the Civil Rights movement, starting in the 1950s and continuing to current day. Other figures and events depicted in the mural include protest marches and sit-ins, victims of the 1963 Alabama church bombing, slain NAACP leader Medgar Evers, Louisville activist Anne Braden, and U.S. Representative John Lewis. The monumental piece is 10-feet tall and 30-feet wide, and was painted by Louisville artist, Victor Sweatt. It will be on display through October 8.
The exhibition is an interactive experience for guests, who are encouraged to affirm their own convictions by answering the questions, “What beliefs do you go to bat for?” and “What freedoms do you fight for?” Guests can share their written answers by posting them on a wall in the gallery, which becomes an ever-changing part of the exhibition.
“I’ve always felt a responsibility to use my baseball fame to better the lives of all people. I’m honored to be depicted in this compelling civil rights mural alongside Muhammad Ali and others involved in the struggle, which continues today,” said Hank Aaron. “I hope this work of art will help people understand why I’ve always felt so strongly about these issues, and inspires all who see it to take action for positive change,” he added.
The installation is part of the I Am Ali Festival, a community-wide celebration of the life and legacy of Louisville native, Muhammad Ali, who died last June. The festival spotlights Ali’s “Six Core Principles” of Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality. Ali & Aaron: United in The Fight focuses on Ali’s core principle of Conviction, which both men demonstrated in their careers and personal lives.