May 20, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Houston Astros: Artists collaborate to paint 60th anniversary mural revealed during annual FanFest

3 min read
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — It’s Opening Day at Minute Maid Park! The Astros are batting against the Los Angeles Angels Monday, marking the 60th anniversary of Major League baseball in Houston.

The team is celebrating six decades of memories with a special mural that was recently revealed at the Astros’ annual FanFest event.

Jesse DeLeon was asked by the Astros to paint a mural in 2021 when the team won the divisional title.

“That was going to be able to be used as a photo op wall, and then from there, we just started working really well with the marketing team. The Space Cowboys didn’t have a mural at Constellation Park, so then they brought me in over there. I did the first mural over there.”

DeLeon said he’s the fourth featured artist contracted to do a mural at Minute Maid Park.

“It’s not easy to just tackle something like this and convey everything you’re trying to do,” said DeLeon, who is a Houston native and featured artist with more than 15 years of experience under his painting palette. “I chose this project because you get the honor of mentoring and working with students.”

The Astros contacted Rachel Toalson and Kelsea Tanaka, who are recent graduates of the Art Institute of Houston, to assist DeLeon with the project.

“Quite the first project,” said Toalson. “I loved every minute of it. It just didn’t seem real.”

The talented trio pitched ideas to team officials of the memorable moments to feature from each decade in the team’s history.

“We were figuring out how all our ideas could intertwine and work together!” Toalson said.

One of the most iconic parts of Astros history that the artists decided to include in the mural is the Colt 45s emblem, which was the team’s original name when they entered the National League in the early 1960’s. The mural also includes the Astrodome, where the team first played their games.

“Just being able to pick and choose like which ones the fans would be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I remember that,'” said Tanaka.

The Astros memorable orange, yellow and red-striped rainbow jersey, known as the “Tequila Sunrise” jerseys were also depicted on the mural.

The artists also couldn’t forget that 2017 moment when the Astros won their first World Series title.

“We had to include the ring and the trophy from the championship era,” Tanaka said.

From concept to canvas, DeLeon said it took four days to complete.

“It was 60 hours to cover 60 years which kind of became like a cool thing with what it was. Basically around 60 hours loads of work in about four and a half days.”

The 25×17 foot mural debuted during FanFest.

“Just to like know that millions of fans are going to see this every time they come to the park, and then just see them take the picture and point out the little details that they see. Seeing their expressions is just the best feeling ever,” said Tanaka.

The artists’ talents and artwork are now on the mural at Minute Maid Park behind center field for all to see.

“This isn’t just any wall. This is the Astros. This is the 60th anniversary. It’s huge. It was an incredible opportunity,” sand Tanaka.

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