Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds baseball franchise in Cincinnati, Ohio, features artwork created by Mark Riedy, an Ohio artist represented by Scott Hull Associates. Riedy created the visual inspiration for a fifty-foot high bas-relief sculpture that welcomes visitors to the Ball Park.
Riedy’s style is reminiscent of the WPA poster art of the 1930’s, which featured dramatic renditions of stoic & heroic characters. “Thinking about the theme ‘spirit of baseball’, my challenge was to portray baseball as part of the fabric of our community. Baseball serves as a bridge between the generations”, noted Riedy. “That’s why the Image of a young boy dreaming of becoming a big league hero became a focal point”, continued Riedy.
Riedy’s work started with research, drawing inspiration from the public art, sculpture and architecture of Cincinnati landmarks. From there, Riedy combed through Cincinnati Reds archives, looking for historic details of the game such as uniforms and baseball gloves, for example.
"The throwback look of the current Reds uniforms made it easier to bridge the gap between past and present”, Riedy remarked. “I had to think of this as a three-dimensional sculpture not a flat work, and execute the art to look as if it were sculpted and erected in a strong sunlit environment”, said Riedy. The process from research and conception to creating three-dimensional models for design intent took two years.
For the final fifty-by-twenty-foot Cincinnati Reds sculpture, the model was laser scanned to plot all the contours, then five foot by six foot blocks of limestone were carved with a diamond bit router, a process that took about eight months to complete.
Union Terminal Inspired Mosaic Designs by Mark Riedy Two large-scale Cincinnati Reds color mosaics flank the main ticket gate at the Great American Ball Park. The style of the mosaics is similar to those created in the mid 1900’s at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal. The new mosaics depict two of the Reds World Championship teams: the 1869 Red Stockings and the 1975 Big Red Machine. “The mosaics are like "book ends" that are essentially mirror images of each other” noted Mark Riedy. The artist’s most formidable challenge was accurately depicting each team player, especially those from the 1869 Red Stockings team “The only team images that exist are old engravings & silver photographic prints. In some cases it was difficult to recognize players, much less some of their features,” said Riedy.
“My style lent itself to the mosaic process because, similar to mosaics, I break all subjects down to flat shapes,” said Riedy. The mosaics were created by Riedy as flat, color, computer-generated paintings that were used as the architecture for creating the large-scale mosaics by hand in Italy. The final mosaic creations, which utilize hundreds of different colors of glass, were shipped recently to the United States for installation at the Great American Ball Park.
Artist, Mark Riedy with the 1975 Big Red Machine Mosaic Mural. The most photographed part of the Cincinnati Reds Great America Ball Park.