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

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – It’s Opening Day at Minute Maid Park! The Astros take on the Los Angeles Angels Monday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of major league baseball in Houston.

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

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

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

DeLeon said he was the fourth featured artist to be signed for a mural at Minute Maid Park.

“It’s not easy to just take something like this and convey whatever you’re trying to do,” said DeLeon, a native of Houston and an artist with more than 15 years of experience in his paint palette. “I chose this project because of the honor of mentoring and working with students.”

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

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

The talented trio provided the team officials with ideas on the memorable moments to be featured from each decade of the team’s history.

“We figured out how all of our ideas could fit together and work together!” said Toalson.

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

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

Astros’ memorable orange, yellow and red striped rainbow jersey, known as the “Tequila Sunrise” jersey, was also featured on the mural.

Artists also couldn’t forget the moment in 2017 when the Astros won their first World Series title.

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

It took four days from concept to screen, according to DeLeon.

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

The 25 x 17 foot mural was debuted during FanFest.

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

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

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

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