Colorado native Kyle Banister on chalk, baseball and art in a beauty shop
You can find art all over town -- not just on gallery walls. In this series, we'll be looking at some of the local artists who serve up their work in coffeehouses and other non-gallery businesses around town.
Retirement isn't looking so quiet for baseball-loving Kyle Bannister, the second-career artist who decided to document his childhood dreams with his signature style, depicting baseball scenes in everything from pointillism to chalk art, displayed everywhere from live TV to an Englewood salon.
Kyle Banister was interested in art from a young age, but people were always telling him he couldn't make any money doing it. So after blissfully spending his boyhood years playing baseball and admiring muscle cars, Banister chose a mainstream career -- several, actually.
"I grew up wanting to design cars," Banister says. "And I probably would have if I'd been in Detroit." But instead, Banister came of age in Colorado, where his career took a number of trajectories -- everything from a short stint in the army to managing a Subaru dealership and then opening a sign company, which evolved into a twenty-year endeavor. About a decade ago, the jack-of-all-trades suddenly found he "didn't have any more responsibilities," Banister recalls. That's when he returned to art.
Maybe you've seen Banister's graphite drawing of Todd Helton (above), which was originally created for a live recording aired during the Rockies game as the artist slowly filled in his baseball scorecard during the game. "This is my big claim to fame," he says. "By the seventh inning, you could tell it was Todd Helton." The Root Sports broadcast in which Banister participated, a compilation of broadcasters and fans keeping score that was called "Scoring the Game," won an Emmy and went viral after the Major League Baseball Network picked it up.
Now Banister freelances for Root Sports, occasionally doing commissioned pieces like this stop sign decorated with Huston Street's mug, which was displayed above Coors Field until Street left the Rockies. "I have a whole bunch of art work in my garage of Rockies who aren't Rockies anymore," says Banister.
One of the first pieces Banister ever did, in fact, was this pencil and ink rendering of Rich "Goose" Gossage, who grew up in Colorado Springs, played for several teams and now sits in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Done in 2005, the pointillism drawing displays painstaking technique with a remarkable outcome.