Hickory – Work is underway for a new, colorful mural at Ridgeview Recreation Center in Hickory. The City of Hickory Public Art Commission hired North Carolina artist Georgie Nakima to create a vibrant mural in the entrance of the recreation center to reflect the Ridgeview community.

Community members are invited to a reception with the mural artist on Wednesday, June 28, from 6-8 p.m. at Ridgeview Recreation Center. At the event, attendees will be able to see the mural’s progress, meet the artist, and enjoy refreshments and children’s art activities.

Georgie Nakima is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist based in Charlotte, N.C. She attended Winston-Salem State University, where she studied Life Sciences. Her inspiration is drawn from a range of sources, from contemporary art to street art and animation. Today, she uses art to visualize the interconnectedness of communities on a micro and macro level. Her work builds an ecosystem of visual landscapes that explores the healing nature of color theory and geometric motifs.

“My body of work combines geometric patterns with vivid and abstract colors that highlight symmetry and the complex beauty of nature,” said Nakima. “The thesis of this work is rooted in Afrofuturism as an offering to affirm the intergenerational connection and testimony of the Diaspora. This work is created to remind us of the intersectionality of our shared world. My public art explores the value of creative placekeeping as an extension of creative placemaking, which acknowledges the social fabric of traditional and native life that has maintained the world we share. The visual landscapes in these works serve as my personal platform to uplift and serve tribute to the land, air, water, and people.”

Nakima’s work has been featured in galleries and beyond the scope of traditional museums throughout North Carolina, Georgia, California, Texas, Iowa, and Costa Rica. Her recent projects have transformed the field of public art and digital art campaigns as a sponsored artist for AT&T, Ford, Xbox/2K, and Microsoft.

She has worked on such projects as the AT&T 2022 Black Future Makers, NBA 2K YMCA project in Charlotte, Ford Born to Roll Campaign, the M in the BLM mural in Charlotte, and most recently completed a mural for Good Morning America’s Black History Month that was featured in their segments about Black History.

“Being a Black artist from the South, I am inspired to narrate the unsung heroes of my ancestry. My highest honor is using this work to provide cultural representation and visibility to communities that have been historically and continuously forgotten,” Nakima said.

Her work has been commissioned by the Creative League of Interventionists, Washington Heights, the City of Belmont, the City of Garner, the City of Charlotte, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem State University, Mecklenburg County Public Art Commission, the World Trade Center, the Harvey B. Gantt Center, Pangea Seed, DC Comics, Coachella, Lending Tree, Credit Karma, Hornitos Tequila, and Camp North End.

As a public artist, Nakima’s personal goal is to create murals and sculptures on every continent in a language that expresses the social narrative of history while inspiring a sustainable future.

For more information about Georgie Nakima’s work, please visit www.gardenofjourney.com and follow her social media channels, @gardenofjourney.

The Public Art Commission was appointed by the Hickory City Council to provide a forum for integrating public art into the public space, to help create a visual sense of the community, and to provide leadership in implementing a public art program for Hickory.

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