Local artist honors heroes in murals at Champs Sports

Hamza “IN-ZO” Muhammad – Nicole Waddington

Staff Writer

Known as the great grandson of Minister Elijah Muhammad, artist Hamza “IN-ZO” Muhammad has made a name for himself on both the local and national scene in the art industry.

With multiple projects under his belt, the Hyde Park resident’s latest work is featured at the Champs Sports’ new flagship location in downtown Chicago.

“I’ve been a student at Little Black Pearl,” said Muhammad about the project opportunity presented to him. “Gracefully, [founder and director] Monica Haslip granted me the opportunity to work with her children. We had a week to knock out nine [art] pieces.”

As a resident artist at Connect Gallery Hyde Park, 1504 E. 53rd St., Muhammad was hired to oversee the project as creative director of the Little Black Pearl Art and Design Academy and Champs Sports partnership. The partnership required that Muhammad and a group of students from the school design all of the art and media featured in the store’s retail space.

Hamza “IN-ZO” Muhammad and Steph Lecor, an artist who has created art work for DJ Khaled. – Nicole Waddington

The Arena featured both Under Armour’s Armory and Adidas’ Under the Lights shops, a two-floor layout featuring a Wall of Champions honoring prominent Chicagoans and four pillars that covered the walls with Muhammad’s murals.

The store is the first Champs “Arena” location, with the 16,000 square foot storefront, that paid homage to Chicago’s history of sports, music, art, and fashion.

The grand opening for Champs Sports Chicago South State Street location took place on Thursday, July 27.