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Huntsville to welcome public art installations through National Fitness Campaign

Published on January 27, 2022

Four public art installations will become a part of Huntsville’s landscape thanks to a new partnership between the City, Arts Huntsville and the National Fitness Campaign (NFC).

The City of Huntsville approved a resolution Thursday to enter into an agreement with Arts Huntsville to establish NFC Fitness Court® installations at the following locations:

  • Apollo Park (adjacent to MidCity)
  • John Hunt Park (near the cross-country course)
  • Legacy Park at Johnson Legacy Center
  • California Street Park

Two of the fitness courts will feature vinyl appliqués of limited-edition artwork by late renowned artists Jean-Michel Basquiat (Apollo Park) and Keith Haring (John Hunt Park). Local artists will have a chance to compete for space on the remaining two structures through the Huntsville Public Art Program.

Allison Dillon-Jauken, executive director of Arts Huntsville, said the combination of interactive public art and fitness is something Huntsville has never seen until now.

“It will be engaging for residents and visitors alike,” she said. “When we have visitors at Apollo Park, people will be intrigued to see the other pieces at John Hunt Park, California Street Park and Legacy Park to experience the other installations across our community.”

More details

NFC’s Fitness Court® is an innovative outdoor bodyweight circuit training center created to improve quality of life in cities, schools, parks and trails across America. Designed for adults of all ages and abilities, each Fitness Court® provides a free full body workout in just seven minutes.

Users can rotate through all seven Fitness Court® zones, leveraging their bodyweight at different angles and levels of resistance to improve their performance over time. Watch a two-minute video about the Fitness Court® concept here.

City Administrator John Hamilton said the Fitness Court® installations are a win-win for the Huntsville community.

“Installing this ‘functional art’ in our parks gives people the opportunity to improve their health and physical fitness,” he said. “By visiting a Fitness Court® at one of four parks here in Huntsville, you can integrate your workout – whether it be a walk or run – with the enjoyment of public art.”

Installation timeline

Hamilton expects Huntsville’s first Fitness Court® will be ready to install at John Hunt Park by fall 2022. The second and third courts at Legacy Park and Apollo Park should be ready by the end of 2022, while the installation at California Street Park will occur in 2023.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is sponsoring NFC’s efforts to bring Fitness Court® installations to communities across the state. Citizens can learn more about the 2022 statewide campaign and available grant funding on NFC’s website.

Arts Huntsville has not yet begun taking applications from local artists interested in competing for space at the Fitness Court® sites at Legacy Park and California Street Park. Those who want to learn more about the project can visit ArtsHuntsville.org for updates.

Hamilton believes the Fitness Court® installations will not only be a draw for residents and tourists, but also provide opportunities for local artists to gain more exposure for their craft.

“Art has value,” he said. “The reason we do public art is because we know arts adds to our local culture, enhancing our quality of life. There will be people who come search out these art pieces and get an opportunity to enjoy a park they otherwise would have never visited.”

Public Art Fitness Court rendering

Public Art Fitness Court rendering