Artist shows love for Philadelphia sports teams, legends through murals

"We prefer to live and die with our team," said David McShane, director of resident artists at Mural Arts Philadelphia.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Local artist shows love for Eagles through murals
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David McShane has created some of the most iconic sports murals in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia and the love of sports go hand-in-hand. But the city also claims to be the mural capital of the world, so it's only fitting to see artistic tributes for each of the teams.

"We prefer to live and die with our team," said David McShane, director of resident artists at Mural Arts Philadelphia.

McShane proudly wore an Eagles hat that belonged to his father while speaking with Action News. McShane is the artist behind some of the most recognizable sports murals in the city and said he's been painting murals for 28 years.

One of his largest murals is dedicated to the Phillies and is prominently located at 24th and Market streets along the Schuylkill River.

The Jackie Robinson mural along North Broad Street in North Philadelphia was his first to be commissioned.

"That was the one that put me on the map," McShane said. "I think of it more as doing it for the community."

McShane has been creating murals in partnership with the Eagles for 18 years.

The painting portion happens during events where several players, including the stars, join in to help create works of art on school playgrounds within the city.

"We have an attachment to them, but we also have an attachment to each other...what I like about Mural Arts is all our projects are community-based," McShane said.

As for the rest of McShane's work, he's also responsible for the massive mural that's on the side of Spike's trophies in Northeast Philadelphia. It pays tribute to sports in the city.

The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame is located inside Spikes Trophies. McShane's murals document some of that history, including another that's dedicated to the Eagles' 2018 Super Bowl win.

"It's a destination for some people to get a picture," said Ted Westervelt, co-partner of Spikes. "He's going to be our go-to artist and hopefully Dave will be able to fill blank space on the wall with many championships."

It's all part of the efforts to expand the city's rich history of sports through art.