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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

The Art Of Baseball

photo+provided+by+Laura+Montgomerry%0A

photo provided by Laura Montgomerry

 

 

 

There was a time not long ago when the gap between art and sports was vast. Luckily that gap has closed and now every medium of art imaginable has made its way into the sports world. This marriage is on display in spectacular fashion at the Bunker Hill Community College Art Gallery, with the opening of the new show, “Take Me Out To The Ball Game, Celebrating Fenway @ 100.”

 

Baseball has always been the easiest sport to portray artistically. The perfectly green grass, unique ballparks and idyllic summer setting makes it jump off of a print, canvas or sculpture. This display at the BHCC Gallery is capitalizing on the sport’s beauty by presenting pieces from more than 30 artists from around the Northeast. Among the highlights are previously unreleased photos by Boston Herald photographer Laban H. Whitaker, as well as paintings of Yawkey Way by Arnie Casavant.

 

The show captures the magic and aura that surrounds Fenway Park, which became the first modern pro sports venue to celebrate its centennial back in April. When asked about getting the idea for the project, gallery director Laura Montgomery said, “I think we decided to do the show around May or June. I’ve always wanted to do a sports-themed show here as a way of engaging our students in athletics with an art gallery experience. It just seemed natural with the park being 100 years old. Why not celebrate it in some way?”

 

Montgomery used some of her connections in the art and sports worlds to help put together an expansive show. She said, “I was really lucky. I knew a handful of people that had some sports-themed stuff. I knew that Lou Jones had a lot of sports-themed work because he covered the Olympics for many years. I knew this guy, Russell Ducart, had some baseball work. I also put a general call for work out, and I also had some of Bill Brett’s work because he did a solo show here. He was a Boston Globe photographer for many years.”

 

While Montgomery insisted that she loved everything being displayed at the show, she did have a clear favorite. She said, “People are really responding to Rosemary Bawn’s quilt. It captures the whole history, it’s really detailed. That quilt is just an amazing thing and I’m really hoping to help her get it down to the Smithsonian. It’s that worthy.”

 

This show is just the latest example of the growing bond between the worlds of art and sport. Shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Patriots Hall of Fame and other museums in the area have highlighted artists’ sports-themed works. When asked about this relationship, Montgomery, a UMass Boston alumna, said, “This is a real learning curve for me. I thought that because Fenway is smack dab in the middle of Boston, there are bound to be landscape works, but I had no idea of the extent of sports-themed art in general. In doing this show I was made aware of artists who make a living doing this. I think because of the history of our team and because the park is so enduring there are a lot of artists who really focus on that. It was a real eye opener to me that there are sports involved in every level of expression.”

 

You can see the show until Oct. 20. For more information, go to bhcc.mass.edu/artgallery