It’s a project that Connor Wright worked on for three days inside inside Ballpark Village and another 150 hours at home – a tribute to Stan “The Man” Musial and the St. Louis Cardinals made from nothing but Rubik’s Cubes.
“So originally I was just playing with a Rubik’s Cube in my room and I kind of realized that you could make words or, you know, a smiley face out of it and I just took that a step further and could actually make faces out of it,” Wright says.
Then he learned of a new art form.
“I started Googling it and it’s called pointillism and so I started studying that for about a year.”
Then he found a photo.
“I actually zoomed into every pixel one-by-one and changed it to one of the six colors, and I did it 54,000 times.”
But Wright still didn’t have a place to showcase artwork. Luckily he was able to reach out to the daughter of the president of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“Well it was clear that Connor was a huge fan, he was from this community and he knew the Musial family. So I thought all that was coming together into a pretty neat idea,” Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III explains.
Twenty-three hand-drawn portraits sold and 64 boxes full of Rubik’s Cubes later, a once plain white staircase between the 2nd and 3rd floor of Ballpark Village now pays homage to “baseball’s perfect knight.” The mural’s first visitor? Musial’s family, including his daughter Jean Edmonds.
“I think I can honestly say with confidence that my dad is the only baseball player to have something like this done in his honor,” Edwards says. “We couldn’t be more excited that you chose him to dedicate you masterpiece to.”
After Wright received an engraved bat from Musial’s family, he spoke about the once time he met The Man.
“He was an incredible guy who played happy birthday for my dad on his harmonica and gave my mom a signed 1$ bill ring, which she is wearing right now,” Wright laughs. “But just to meet him and for him to be so down to earth was just incredible.”
For DeWitt, and an organization so committed to the community, a member of that community honoring perhaps the most prolific and community-loved Cardinal made perfect sense.
“Just being involved in the community is just talk and we have Cardinals Care which is all over the community, but we are looking to be more than that. We want everybody to participate,” DeWitt says.
Wright has only eight more months of high school left, but he says once college applications are sent off, he has more to give to the St. Louis community.
“I would actually love to do another mural. Something in St. Louis. I am looking at the St. Louis Arch river project where they are re-doing the museum underneath the Arch and would love to do something if they would accept it.”