Spray It, Don't Say It

May 18th, 2019

Two months of planning. 51 spray cans. 41 gallons of paint. Three handheld sprayers. Two scissor lifts. One ladder. Countless brushes. One iconic mural.

Nationals Park has been one of the most recognizable spots in all of DC since its inaugural season in 2008. So, when artists Peter Chang and Brandon Hill were asked to produce a mural that highlights the history of baseball in the nation's capital, along with other iconic spots around the city, they jumped at the opportunity.

Chang and Hill -- business partners and baseball fans -- combine to form No Kings Collective, a DC-based creative agency.

The mural will be great exposure for these local artists, as Nats Park has had more than 15 million people walk through the gates over the last six seasons -- an average of more than 2.5 million per season.

That's a LOT of potential Instagram posts...

The mural was completed on Friday, May 17, just in time to kick off a weekend series against the Chicago Cubs. This is what the artists had to say about their work, and the opportunity to make their mark on Nationals Park.

How'd you come up with the concept/inspiration for the design?

"Baseball carries an amount of nostalgia that is unique and different from other pro sports. We wanted to bring this feeling into the ballpark by fusing vintage and modern ideas about the sport with specific elements from the District's baseball history with the early Senators and Grays. The story within this mural moves from left to right. On the left, there is a cut-off image from an original poster. On the right, there is the silhouette of Ryan Zimmerman. Between the two opposite anchors, the elements span multiple generations of baseball. The "Curly W" and typographic Washington hold the piece together, moving the viewer's eye from left to right. The interior of the "Washington" text is layered with items and ideas that are iconic in the sport -- home plate, chalk field lines, hot dogs, pizza slices, dugouts and announcer sayings. It's meant to be an homage to the past, framed in a forward-looking space."

How many different colors/primers did you use?

"After a few coats of primer, we used two reds -- one color matched the Nationals' red (Pantone 200) and one blood-orange. Then we incorporated three different blues -- the Nationals' blue (Pantone 282), a mid-range blue, and a light blue -- plus black, white and grey throughout the design."

What elements from Nats history/DC baseball culture is integrated into the design?

"Baseball is a multigenerational, multi-century sport. I layered elements from old posters, sports playbills, baseball cards, modern photography, contemporary typography and original art elements. Working closely with the Nats front office, we fine-tuned the final design with the aim that the mural will be something a family can enjoy for years to come."

What does it mean to be working on a project of this scale in an MLB ballpark?

"It's awesome. I played baseball until I was 17 and dreamed of going pro, so -- for me -- this is a dream come true. There's not a lot of times that art and baseball naturally intersect, so this opportunity is beyond amazing."

Follow the artistic duo on Instagram @nokingsdc to see more of their work around the DMV area, and make sure to visit Nats Park this summer to see the new mural for yourself!