Louisville may be home to the world's largest bat, but Lexington is now home to some of the tiniest. The Lexington Legends unveiled an art project made up of about 6,200 miniature bats Friday afternoon. The art installation was created to honor the 15th anniversary of the ballpark.
Legends fans signed the mini-bats at the ballpark between July 4-8 that were used to create the artwork completed by brothers Aaron and Jared Scales from their company BroCoLoco. It is displayed on the green wall in the Hall of Fame section, near the gift shop at the Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
Andy Shea, Legends President and CEO, approached LexArts, the Lexington Art and Cultural Council, with the idea of the art installation this past winter. Shea wanted to incorporate more art into the ballpark, he said, and he hopes to continue adding more art in the future.
"I really love being able to incorporate art and sports," Shea said. "It's one of those things that hasn't always been traditionally tied together, but that's why I like it."
The Scales brothers wanted to commemorate the Legends' anniversary by getting the community involved.
"The Legends are kind of a big thing here in Lexington for a lot of people," Jared said. "I think it really meant a lot for these people to have something that has a little part of them in it."
However, building the piece of art was no walk in the park.
"While simple in its idea, it was extremely complicated in its execution," Aaron said.
The budget for the project was around $12,500 including materials, artist fees and the installation. Mounting the thousands of mini-bats by hanging them on small nails in an 8-by-10-foot wooden frame was a tedious task, but well worth it, Jared Scales said.
"It's really cool seeing it come from an idea to a model on a computer to actually the real thing," he said.
The Scales brothers grew up in Lexington, but started BroCoLoco when they were living in Washington, D.C.. They merged their backgrounds in art and architecture in an effort to bring meaningful murals, urban art and architectural designs into communities.
It's about creating an art with a story, they said.
"On a lot of our pieces we try to focus on inspiration and try to stir up creativity in people," Aaron Scales said.
The brothers have worked with businesses and neighborhoods all over the world, from the East Coast to Europe. In 2014, the pair returned to Lexington
"We wanted to bring a little bit back and be able to give back to the city," Jared Scales said.
The miniature bats were ordered from overseas, but all of the work and materials were gathered locally. Graduates from the University of Kentucky and local business owners helped construct the wooden frame.
This isn't their first piece of art in Lexington. The brothers have completed a mural in the Kroger on Euclid Avenue as well as adding art to a local bus shelter. They hope to continue giving back to the community through their art.
"We're excited about the opportunity to help Lexington cultivate its voice throughout its different industries and businesses," Aaron said.
As for Shea: "It could not have turned out better. It's even better than I envisioned."