"Strike" sketch for 4th Street mural

Commissioned artist Rafael Blanco began the National Bowling Stadium Mural Project today, March 17, 2023.

On February 8, Reno City Council approved the staff’s recommendation to commission artist Rafael Blanco for the National Bowling Stadium Mural Project in an amount not to exceed $80,000 at the regular council meeting.

"I was commissioned to beautify, to transform it, to make it look visually interesting," Blanco said while preparing on Friday. 

Blanco provided some renderings of what the murals may look like, 

A refurbishment of the exterior of the National Bowling Stadium (NBS) is required as part of the agreement with the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, United States Bowling Congress, and the City of Reno 4th Amendment to the Agreement. 

“This is the first facility in the United States dedicated solely to bowling competition and a true treasure in the Biggest Little City,” said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. “I’m so excited to see this representative mural project at the National Bowling Stadium, which welcomes 50,000 to 60,000 people with regional and national bowling tournaments.” 

“I would like to achieve a sense of “colorful dynamism”, evoking a sense of excitement and motivating viewers every time they pass by the National Bowling Stadium,” said artist Rafael Blanco. 

While the 4th St. wall will focus on the theme of bowling, the entrance wall at University Way will be an identifier and unifier of the city, with a variety of silhouettes representing the diverse growth the city has seen in the last few decades.

Rafael Blanco, a native of Spain who later settled in the U.S., holds strong ties to the local community, earning his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013 and had his first encounter with public art at the 24h Circus Circus Mural Marathon in 2014.

Blanco's proposal scored the highest of 41 applications received for the National Bowling Stadium Mural Project Call for Artist Proposals.  

Recommended for you