Sports mural commissioned near Hilliard’s new Westwood Field House

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

A 14- by 30-foot mural depicting basketball players from each of Hilliard’s three high schools will greet patrons leaving the Westwood Field House, a proposed 17,000-square-foot indoor basketball and volleyball venue at 3932 Brown Park Drive. 

Titled “The Higher Goals,” its creator, portraitist Fatima Taylor, said the mural is a metaphor for the entire community. 

“The concept is to inspire a community to set and achieve higher goals,” the 47-year-old Reynoldsburg artist said. 

Andy Warnock, CEO of the Westwood Collective, chose Taylor from among several artists to produce a mural that will be painted on the back of a building at 3906 Brown Park Drive, a commercial building shared by Educational Apparel, a manufacturer of uniforms for parochial school, and Hygrowponics, a retail store. 

The mural, "Higher Goals" will greet patrons of the Westwood Field House

The Westwood Field House will include two high school-regulation basketball courts and four high school-regulation volleyball courts, locker rooms and a “party room” that will be available for corporate events or family celebrations, Warnock said. 

Construction costs have yet to be determined but are expected to exceed $2 million, he said. 

Construction of the field house is scheduled to begin this month. Work on the mural won’t start until July at the earliest and perhaps as late as September, Warnock said. 

He said he was inspired by a mural completed last year in Old Hilliard on the back of Otie’s Tavern and Grill, 5344 Center St., facing the Center Street Market. 

“I was impressed by the mural,” he said. “It adds a level of vibrancy to the area (and) planted the seed.”  

Warnock then asked the Hilliard Arts Council to suggest muralists he could consider for the field house project. 

Construction on the field house must first progress far enough so that no dust and dirt are created at the site that could impede the work on the mural, Warnock said. Completing the mural is expected to take 50 non-consecutive days. 

Warnock,Taylor and the city of Hilliard entered into a mutual agreement to  commission and maintain the mural but Warnock is paying for its creation, he said. 

The Westwood Field House will be built on a one-acre parcel that Warnock purchased from Life Community Church, 4400 Cemetery Road, after the city approved a lot split in September. 

Warnock said he purchased an existing limited-liability corporation and closed on the one-acre parcel and the commercial retail building where the mural will be painted in December. 

“People who come out of the Westwood Field House would be looking at the back of a building. That’s not so attractive, so I wanted a mural to depict the synergy of the field house,” said Taylor, who got her start putting the final touches and detailing on dozens of murals on the Ohio River floodwall in Portsmouth. 

One of Taylor’s murals can be seen at Patties and Pints, a restaurant in Portsmouth. 

Much of her other work is inside private residences, she said. She primarily showcases her work at exhibitions and galleries but said she occasionally accepts a commission for a permanent, public piece of art. 

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekCorvo