Spotting the street art of Hec One Love and Luis Valle around Miami sparked something in Elisa Padilla. The senior vice president of marketing and community relations for the Miami Marlins found the artists' work so inspiring that it now graces the concourse at Marlins Park.
"I first discovered Hec One’s work on NW 20th Street. There is a Loveism mural which I instantly fell in love with. The vibrant colors and the simplicity of the art blew me away,” Padilla says. “As I started to explore the street art, I saw a mural that Luis did with abstract images and animals. The fusion of animals was what caught my eye. After researching both artists and reading about them, we wanted to work with them because they represent Miami and its culture.”
The two street artist took their skills to Marlins Park, where they contributed to a revamp of the concourse. Today their work can be found in the Comunidad 305 area of the stadium.
“The Marlins contacted me last year for their project Our Colores, which I designed some artwork for,” Valle says. “Then they called me to discuss the stadium and work that was going to be done at the stadium. They also approached Hec One Love and brought us together.”
Both artists create designs made of dripping paint, so they "found a common ground in that," Valle says. "Hec One handled a couple of the [concepts] and we also collaborated on a few."
Hec One Love, a pioneer of the street art scene who got his start in Miami in 1983, was the first one of the two approached. “Elisa Padilla was inspired by my work and always wanted to know about my mural on 20 St. in Wynwood. It took her a while to find me but when she did, we had a meeting,” says Hec One.
Hec One says “they approached me to do a couple of activations in the park. I did the two side walls of [Latin restaurant] Pincho that were basically smaller drips, and The Change Up [restaurant] with the little drips at the concession. And although we were supposed to collaborate on the column drips, I left this to Luis because he’s faster.”
These aren't just pretty lines of paint. The colors were chosen by the artists to reflect the flags of different countries — “countries that represent our diverse local community,” says Valle.
All this is just part of the project. “There is definitely more artwork coming to the stadium. Some of it is mural work and some of it was designed on vinyl,” Valle says.
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Padilla echoes Valle’s sentiments, saying “Miami is a vibrant city and street art is everywhere. It’s an expression of the city and our goal is to bring the spirit of Miami into our ballpark.... The work that Luis and Hec One did for us is just that. The rooster on the side of the wall of the Goya: La Cocina concession stand represents the authenticity of our neighborhood, our culture and our city.”
For Valle, who grew up as an athlete and baseball fan, the opportunity to represent Miami on behalf of an institution like the Miami Marlins is a thrill.
“I always knew I was going to be an athlete or an artist, and because of my height I chose art,” Valle says. “I’ve seen the Marlins from the start, during their exhibition days, so it’s exciting to work on a project for a local sports team. They’re doing a nice job of making it a place to come visit.”