Philadelphia Art Commision Approves Phillies Fine Arts Program For Citizens Bank Park
Wednesday, November 5, 2003
By Larry Shenk
An extensive fine arts program commissioned by the Phillies and designed to honor the City of Philadelphia and its rich baseball tradition was approved today by the Philadelphia Art Commission.
Under the program, the Phillies have commissioned a diversity of local artists utilizing various media, styles and artistic approaches to have their works displayed in numerous areas of Citizens Bank Park. In addition to the fine arts program, the Phillies will supplement the effort with three different programs displaying statues.
"We believe this art program is interesting, enhances the fan experience and complements our state-of-the-art new park," said David Montgomery, President and CEO of the Phillies. "We wanted a variety of styles and media created by a diverse group of artists from the Philadelphia area.
"We feel that we have achieved these goals."
Fine Arts Program
**Dick Perez, a native of Puerto Rico and the official artist of the Baseball Hall of Fame, will produce 32 oil paintings of legendary Hall of Famers from the Phillies, Philadelphia A's and Native Sons. The paintings will be on display in the Cooperstown Gallery of the Hall of Fame Club. Perez has painted and exhibited every Hall of Fame member at the Cooperstown (NY) Museum. The art gallery room of the Museum bears his name. He has also been the official artist of the Phillies and served as the official artist of the Donruss Card Company during the 1980s and 1990s.
**Dane Tilghman will develop two large murals for display in the Diamond Club. A Philadelphian, Tilghman has taken his artwork toward new dimensions: going from realism to a stylish combination of his own surrealism and primitive elongation. Tilghman has established himself as one of the premier painters of African American Golf Art and Negro League baseball images. He has a baseball mural on display at Turner Field in Atlanta, GA. Tilghman has received the Medal of Honor in Graphics from the American Artists Professional League. His work has been exhibited at the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia and the Butler Institute of Fine Art in Youngstown, PA.
**Max Mason, a renowned artist who teaches painting at the University of Pennsylvania, has been commissioned to produce three large murals for the scoreboard restaurant. He is exploring representations of three Phillies homes: Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium, Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park. He has been represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia since 1985. Mason has had two murals in the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, one at 40th and Chestnut Streets and the other at 49th and Market Streets. His work is represented in many public and private collections, most notably the Butler Institute of Fine Art.
**Jonathan Mandell is well known for his work in tile mosaics. He is developing mosaics commemorating the 2004 inaugural season at Citizens Bank Park. The murals, which will appear on the main concourse level, should reflect both players and the architectural imagery significant to the first season. The mosaics will be displayed in the entry lobbies of the east and west buildings. A Philadelphian, Mandell's works have been exhibited at Yeshiva University, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and the National Jewish Museum in Washington, DC. His mosaics are also on permanent exhibit at the McGraw Hill Company in New York.
**Zenos Frudakis, of Glenside, PA, has been commissioned to sculpture 10' bronze statues of four Phillies Hall of Famers, Richie Ashburn, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts and Mike Schmidt. The statues are currently a work-in-progress effort in his studio. The locations of the statues at Citizens Bank Park were confirmed today at the hearing before the Fine Arts Commission. The Ashburn statue will be the main focus of Ashburn Alley, a family outfield entertainment area inside Citizens Bank Park. The Carlton statue will be located outside the Left Field Gate; Schmidt, the Third Base Gate and Roberts, the First Base Gate. All four statues will provide meeting locations for fans and offer ample opportunities for family photographs.
Additional Contributions to Fine Arts
**The Phillies will supplement their fine arts program with the preservation and relocation of six significant existing statues:
--Four Joe Brown sculptures that have been part of Veterans Stadium since it was opened in 1971 will be removed and relocated on new bases next summer. The punter and batter statues will be relocated to Hartranft Street and the tackler and slider statues will be relocated to Pattison Avenue as one of the historical references to where Veterans Stadium once stood. The Vet site will become a 5,000-space parking lot late in the 2004 baseball season.
--The Connie Mack statue currently situated at the corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue will be relocated to the west side of Citizens Bank Park. The statue stood across the street from Connie Mack Stadium from 1957 until 1971 when it was moved by the Phillies to the Vet.
--Although not located at Citizens Bank Park or the Sports Complex, the Phillies are contributing to the maintenance and promotion of the bronze Negro League Memorial sculpture by Phil Sumpter that will be located in Fairmount Park.
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