There's a hole in Anderson, S.C. It opened suddenly in August when Chadwick Boseman, one of the city's favorite sons and an international star for his role as the Black Panther, died after a quiet battle with cancer at just 43.
Two months later, that void is slowly being stitched together by local artists who picked up their brushes to honor Boseman with a new outdoor art exhibit in downtown Anderson, a city of about 28,000 people.
Local artist Joey Withinarts started painting his take on Boseman's image just hours after the news broke of his death. His depiction is one of nearly 20 on display in the city-sponsored project. "The feeling behind it, words can't even explain, even the way we bring it all together in different styles, it was just something everyone had to see," Withinarts told the AP.
Boseman rose to Hollywood stardom after taking on such iconic roles as Jackie Robinson, who integrated Major League Baseball, and the Black Panther. The Marvel superhero movie became one of the top-grossing films in history, and he inspired millions with his character's signature "Wakanda forever!" salute.
The accomplished actor never spoke publicly about his battle with colon cancer. He was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in 2016 and continued working while privately battling "countless surgeries and chemotherapy," his family said in a statement.
The exhibit, which opened to the public Thursday, features nearly 20 local South Carolina artists. The pieces lining the walls of the Wren Pavilion offer different takes on Boseman's life, from his teenage years to his superhero role.
Texan Jerry Jeff Walker dies
Jerry Jeff Walker, a Texas country singer and songwriter who wrote the pop song "Mr. Bojangles," died Friday of cancer at 78. Walker emerged from New York's Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1960s, and he was a founding member of the band Circus Maximus. He moved to Texas in the 1970s and in 1972 scored a hit with his version of the Guy Clark song "L.A. Freeway." Walker and the Lost Gonzo Band in 1973 recorded an album live in Texas called "Viva Terlingua" that became a classic of the country-rock scene. After that, Walker released more than 30 albums. In 1986, he formed independent music label Tried & True Music. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. "I guess I took my singing for granted, and now I don't," he told the Austin American Statesman in 2018. In 2017, it was announced that Walker had donated more than 100 boxes of his music archives to the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, including tapes, photos, handwritten lyrics and artifacts.