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Showtime Sound Blog

Showtime Sound Brings Art to Life for Frederick Sports Mural

FREDERICK, MD – How do you turn sketch art into an immersive experience? You cover the entire wall in it! The Showtime team, led by Galen Newell, stepped up to this challenge on the evening of November 16, 2021 at the Delaplaine Center for the Arts, surrounding event guests with the artwork of a sports mural that does not yet exist. 

 The Frederick Sports Mural, a project of Community Arts Inc & TGP Gives, is set to be one of the world’s largest sports murals. It will be located at Harry Grove Stadium in the heart of Frederick, Maryland. The muralwill celebrate 125 years of history in more than 30 sports and will recognize 5 coaches and 250 athletes. Visionary and artist Yemi Fagbohun, founder of Community Arts, Inc., created the mural concept seven years ago. Since then, he has worked with an architect, structural engineer and a construction firm, plus the City of Frederick to be able to locate the 550-foot-long and 14-foot-tall public art project along the exterior wall of the stadium. “I thought I would paint a dozen or more portraits, but when we started to research, we found hundreds of athletes who have been recognized for high levels of achievement in their respective sports,” Fagbohun said. While all of the athletes attended Frederick County schools, they also have gone on to achieve fame through the Olympics, including one in Tokyo in 2021, and several professional sports. 


Artist Yemi, stands with a rendering of the Frederick Sports Mural

Helping bring this art concept to life for the local community was Showtime Sound LLC’s own Galen Newell. The TGP Gives team had worked with Showtime Sound in the past on a very successful drive-in movie and concert series. Their partnership created the perfect transition for this new endeavor. Community Arts Inc. & TGP Gives tasked Showtime with building a living art gallery showing the mural sketches. Newell and his team utilized laser projection technology to display artist Yemi’s drawings throughout the room.


Showtime took several steps to prepare for an event this unique. Newell described the process, saying, “Because of the size and aspect ratios of the walls that were being used as living canvases, we brought out our gear to do a test run several days prior to the event. This helped to finalize throw distance, lens selection, and projector placement. During this test run, we decided on how we were going to ‘slice’ each wall into sections in order to display multiple works on the same wall at the same time. We found that the walls seemed to naturally divide themselves into 5-6 different canvases, so we asked for at least 8 pieces of art in order to be able to dynamically cycle through the works during the show.”


The Delaplaine facility, housed in the 100-year-old Mountain City Mill and located along beautiful Carroll Creek Park in Downtown Frederick, was the perfect site to preview the new Frederick Sports Mural project. However, there were a few challenges. According to Newell, “Being that the room was lined with floor to ceiling windows on one side, we had to wait until after dark to focus projectors and begin the event. The ambient light in the room was enough that it called for each projector to be double stacked, thus projecting the same image over itself in order to create more vibrant colors and a truer representation of the artist's work. The natural texture of the white-painted walls provided a projection surface that looked much like a traditional canvas, and was able to preserve some of the tactile qualities of the original pieces.” Additionally, the team worked around a few other room-specific details to ensure a flawless event execution. “Some of the installed HVAC systems in the room provided obstacles to shoot the projector around. This made it tricky to find the perfect spot to hang the projectors in order to minimize shadows and obstacles. The scenic LED web that was hung from the structural steel in the ceiling made running cables very difficult,” Newell noted, adding that this was “nothing new,” and they were able to adjust accordingly.


Naturally, the technology behind this event had to be chosen with care. Newell relayed the process, saying, “We used 4 Panasonic PT-RZ12k projectors with ET-DLE085 lenses. These are relatively short-throw lenses that cover a large projection surface, especially as the projector moves farther back. Two projectors were focused on each wall in order to increase light output and image vibrance. We used the program Resolume Arena to assist with projection mapping. This program allowed us to slice, scale, and slide areas of the projector's output in order to fit into the natural ‘canvases’ on the walls.”

The result was an event like no other. According to Newell, “The client and artist were thrilled with the execution of the event. It felt great to get a special shoutout ‘thank you’ from [TGP Gives Founder] Mr. Gatewood when he concluded his speech. The artist [Yemi] was very excited to see his works breathe life into what was previously just a white, empty room.” Event guests were equally impressed. “The attendees were amazed at the immersive nature of the room and loved seeing the artist's works cycling through on the wall,” Newell said. We couldn’t agree more and we can’t wait to see what comes next for Galen and the talented team at Showtime Sound LLC.


*Photo Credits – TGP Gives & Community Arts Inc.

*More details on the Frederick Sports Mural can be found at (https://fredericksportsmural.org) The Frederick Sports Mural is a project of Community Arts Inc & TGP Gives. 


Topics: production events Lighting audio sound dc events art events sports mural Frederick sports mural