Sculpture artist chosen for public art at new West Palm Beach baseball complex

Blessing Hancock, a sculpture artist based in Tucson, Ariz., has been selected to design and install the public art that will be part of the new spring training baseball stadium in West Palm Beach.

Hancock, owner of Skyrim Studio, will have a budget of $800,000 for three areas of the complex, which will be shared by the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals starting in January 2017.

Blessing Hancock, an Arizona-based sculpture artist, proposed these shadow panels and pitch banners at the new West Palm Beach spring training stadium.

Blessing Hancock, an Arizona-based sculpture artist, proposed these shadow panels and pitch banners at the new West Palm Beach spring training stadium.

A selection committee made up of team representatives and Palm Beach County staff chose Hancock late last month from 43 national artists.

Hancock’s proposal included stainless steel shade and shadow panels at the main entrance. From a distance, the shadow screens will resemble a cluster of palm fronds. As visitors get closer, they will see a grid pattern of tiny baseball players in motion, focusing on sequences of hitting, throwing and catching.

The panels will create artistic shadows reflected onto the concourse.

“These sequential chains of motion are captured in silhouette and reflected onto the surrounding surfaces and visitors to the artwork,’’ Hancock wrote in her presentation.

ARTTHer proposal also calls for colorful panels above the stadium’s main concourse with photographs depicting the grips of different pitches such as a fastball and knuckleball. And on the railings of bridges that will connect the stadium to the practice fields, Hancock is proposing panels depicting baseball trivia and memorabilia.

Blessing Hancock (photo courtesy University of Texas at San Antonio)

Blessing Hancock (photo courtesy University of Texas at San Antonio)

The Astros and Nationals will work with Hancock on the final designs, which might not be the same designs that she included in her proposal.

Hancock will start designing the project on Aug. 15. The installation is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016.

The $135 million stadium, which is being financed in part by $113 million in revenue from a tax on hotels and motels, will be built on 160 acres south of 45th Street between Military Trail and Haverhill Road.

The teams hope to break ground by mid-October.

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