Brian McAllister is an international muralist, illustrator and visual arts instructor with the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. He has worked with students around the world to create art, showing youth that they can work together to accomplish tasks far bigger than themselves while having a positive impact on their community. “Art is meant to be shared with everyone. It makes the world a bigger, brighter place,” says McAllister. The artist had this to say about his creation for the Rays Artist Print Series:
“Celebrating America’s pastime and the birth of our country in a painting is no easy task. Iconic images of Independence Day, as well as symbols related to both teams, helped to inspire this illustration. The Statue of Liberty has a dual role in representing the New York Yankees and American freedom. A waving American flag under the water, rays flying in formation, and fireworks help to reinforce the celebration and traditions associated with the 4th of July. As the home team, the Rays take center stage. A baseball player wearing Tampa Bay’s colors hits a ball against a backdrop of Tropicana Field, informing the viewer that the game is being played at home in St. Petersburg, FL. I chose to incorporate both Rays logos, as they are both actively used. A sweeping ray in the foreground helps to complement the movement of the swing, while paying homage to the name of the team. The Rays burst logo offered a unique opportunity to break up the composition and frame out the matchup between Tampa Bay and New York. Lastly, the fireworks can be seen firing from an island in the background. This was an important element for me to include, as the state of Florida has more than 4500 islands.
“The opportunity to create a painting that represents our country, the Tampa Bay Rays and Major League Baseball is truly a dream come true. It is an honor to be among some of the amazing artists that contribute to the growing art community here in Tampa Bay.”