THEA Artist Spotlight BASK
THEA is an agency committed to the progress and future of the Tampa Bay region. Along with using our toll revenues to provide our region with a transportation system that provides regional connectivity to our residents and visitors, we also partner with community organizations with beautification projects, economic development strategies, and fostering more STEM education opportunities. All revenues collected on the Selmon Expressway stay here in Tampa and Hillsborough County, where we reinvest those dollars back into the community and we are committed to enhancing the community and activating urban spaces.
As a way to make downtown safer and more connected for bikers and pedestrians, we opened the Selmon Greenway in 2015. The Selmon Greenway is a 1.7-mile multi-use trail that runs east-west under the Selmon Expressway through downtown Tampa and connects with the City’s Riverwalk and the Meridian Trail. Along the trail, we have enhanced the greenway with landscaping, artwork, benches, and pocket parks that enhance the downtown Tampa esthetics.
In one of those pocket parks, you will find a mural that we commissioned the renowned local artist, Ales “Bask” Hostomsky to create.
The mural is located under the shade of the Selmon Expressway and meant to enhance the experience at our award-winning pocket park, the Deputy John Korfila Dog Park. Thousands of people come downtown with their furry friends to play at the park every week. The mural’s message is themed around this element of getting downtown with your pups and neighbors and is titled “Play Nice Tampa”.
Ales “Bask” Hostomsky uses the moniker Bask and is a prolific artist who has work in galleries across the country. His art covers walls in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Detroit and Brooklyn to name a few of the cities where you will find his graffiti-inspired art. Bask has developed a recognizable visual style with work that is richly textured, sometimes satirical, and full of drips and splatters that pop with vibrancy.
In an interview about his art, Bask says, “I try to focus on the imperfection of things, rather than their unachievable perfection. My art is a type of deconstruction.”
With Play Nice Tampa, you will see his multi-layered signature technique and find a bold mural that can be viewed in parts or in the whole with wall and columns making a broad, sweeping expression of art. Prior to the street art and pocket park, this space under the Selmon Expressway was just an underpass with dirt and grime. Thanks to the vision of our architects, engineers, and leadership, this space is now a place to come together and enjoy a shaded downtown park.
Bask was born in Czechoslovakia in 1984 before moving to Florida with his family. He is based in St. Petersburg and a nationally acclaimed street artist. Take the Selmon Greenway and discover his mural tucked under the Selmon Expressway.