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Steelheads Alley Mural

Seattle artist Damon Brown just unveiled a one-of-a-kind installation. The vivid mural honors the 1946 Negro League baseball team from Seattle, the Steelheads.

Brown, also known as Creative Lou on Instagram, identifies himself as a versatile artist with specialties in painting, design, illustration, and public art.

"My schedule is typically full with a variety of creative endeavors, from public art activations that communicate a community's story to my visual forecast of the future, the artist says. In the end, I like tasks that test my creative processes and knowledge. I also like creative problem-solving."

When Steelheads Alley was looking for a mural for the bar's one wall, the cooperation was born. Due of other projects he's worked on around the city, Brown was considered as a possibility.

"The Métier Brewery Company discovered that I was the designer of some of Métier's iconic [Trail Blazer Pale Ale, Black Stripe Coconut Porter, PBE, and more] designs when my name was brought up as a potential artist, he says. So there was already a level of familiarity."

Brown decided early on in the mural-making process that it would be centered on a traditional baseball game played at Garfield Park on Sundays.

"Then during the following few weeks", according to Brown, "I got in touch with baseball historian David Eskenazi to learn everything there was to know about Seattle's lengthy baseball tradition. This sparked discussions with David and Stephanie Johnson-Toliver of the Black Heritage Society, both of whom had access to vast amounts of historical information. 

This has been a crash course in the history of baseball in the Pacific Northwest, from the various teams and baseball greats that have played baseball in Washington State," he says.

When summarizing what he loves most about his job, Brown says, "Each day, I get to wake up and do what I love and share my creative gift with the world, in a way that makes a tangible impact."