Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Rainiers Gussy Up the Joint

Art for baseball's sake in Tacoma:

Tacoma artist Jennevieve Schlemmer is helping her neighbors decorate their
remodeled house. It’s just that her neighbors are the Tacoma Rainiers, and their
house is Cheney Stadium. Schlemmer, 33, is designing a six-panel tile mosaic
that will greet fans as they walk by the stadium’s new group party decks along
the third base line. The panels will be installed this week. The decks are
replacing a section of bleachers in the Central Tacoma ballpark.

. . . Schlemmer’s Pop Art-influenced panels are “all about the anticipation of
baseball,” she said recently in her backyard studio, where she can hear the
stadium’s cheering crowds and see fireworks from the ballpark, which is about a
mile away. There’s a bat hitting a ball, a ball surrounded by a colorful burst
and a soaring ball, among other things.

Call me a commie, but I'm a sucker for WPA art, and this seems like $15K well spent. Maybe I'd feel better about publicly-funded ballparks if the governments that bend over for rich owners demanded that more of the money, effort, and prime real estate was devoted to the public good. You want a stadium in Miami, Loria? Fine, but you gotta put this next to the jumbotron: