SEATTLE — Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week is still days away but that didn’t stop the City of Seattle from unveiling a baseball-themed public art display in Pioneer Square.
The Historic RailSpur building is preparing for a unique exhibition that starts in the neighboring alleyway. The Railspur Public Art Alley is now open for public view and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell says he remembers Seattle hosting All-Star Week two decades ago and is excited to be in a position of leadership to help the city shine.
“Quite frankly the city was honored and proud to facilitate this wonderful public art,” Harrell said.
Baseball-themed murals created by seven diverse local artists line the historic brick walls outside of RailSpur at 419 Occidental Avenue South in Pioneer Square. The murals were commissioned by Major League Baseball in partnership with Seattle-based non-profit Forest for the Trees.
“This means everything to me,” says artist Shakore Nelson, who goes by “Vision Graceful” in the art world. Nelson is following in his father's artistic footsteps and says painting a tribute to Mariners legend Ichiro spoke to him. “Blending the culture and a blend of different people together from different environments is just something that I’m proud to be a part of,” says Nelson.
“The Dog Pile” is another colorful mural that depicts the familiar victory pile of players. Artist Devin Liston says sports were his first love but eventually, he couldn’t keep up with competition.
Baseball-themed murals unveiled ahead of MLB All-Star game
“Getting to use my art to paint sports has been a cool evolution,” says Liston. Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. are smiling in mural form and a cartoon character stealing a base hangs nearby.
A massive leather baseball glove and a unique art collage of T-Mobile Park mark the entries to the alley. More painting is underway on neighboring brick walls. The murals are all painted on fixed wooden canvases so they can be removed or relocated down the road.
Mariners Chairman John Stanton joined the unveiling today and says this is an important week to show the world why Seattle earned the Emerald City nickname.
“I told the commission when we started this discussion two years ago that I guaranteed it would be sunny in Seattle,” says Stanton.
A guarantee made good this week as the Railspur Public Art Alley is officially open for admiring. In true Seattle form, the alley does have its own coffee shop.