life-size painting of Kirby Puckett is taking shape
C.J., Star Tribune
Last update: March 15, 2006 – 11:11 PM
Background photo by CJ
A few weeks ago Frank
Ronneng teased his friend, portrait painter Mark Sanislo, about the absence of
black faces in his gallery.
"Well, he now has one," Ronneng e-mailed me.
Sanislo is painting a life-size Kirrrrrrby
"I started it Friday around the lunch hour," Sanislo said Monday. He
was amused that I was already aware of the painting, having seen it
before opening Ronneng's e-mail.
It's quite nice. "Well, thank you," Sanislo said. "There's more to go."
Mark Sanislo paints a portrait of the late Kirby Puckett in his skyway
studio in downtown Minneapolis. Elizabeth
Flores Star Tribune
paints in a gallery in Baker Center on the Minneapolis
skyway, passersby can monitor Puckett's coming to life on the 6-foot
People have been knocking on the window and giving Sanislo the
thumbs-up, or coming in to marvel up close.
After Puckett died last week, Sanislo said his four sons -- Richard, 12, Joe, 10, David, 8 and John, 6 -- were going through their
sports memorabilia and trying to prod Dad into drawing or painting a
"Kirby Puckett was a big deal for us," Sanislo said. "What really
fascinates me is that my boys were either in diapers or not born yet,
but the name Kirby Puckett just rolls off their tongues like he's a guy
who plays now."
Sanislo is not sure what he'll do with the painting after it spends
about a month in the window of his gallery.
"You know what, if the right person shows the right amount of interest,
there it will go," he said. "No biggie. Most of the art I do goes out
my door and on someone's wall."
Speaking of no biggies, on Tuesday someone came into the gallery to
jest about the flattering weight at which Sanislo is painting Puckett.
Puck was once that skinny, I told the gallery visitor. "Yeah. We were
all that skinny once," Sanislo said.
Puckett, like Elvis, should be
remembered at whatever size one prefers.
Puckett on canvas
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03/16/2006 09:33:17 PM
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artist is adding to all the ways to remember Kirby Puckett with a painting of the
While the Twins have painted his number on
the field at their Fort
Myers spring training facility and players will be wearing his number
34 on a patch on their sleeves, Mark Sanislo is hoping fans will
also appreciate his work.
Sanislo’s painting is
on display in the Minneapolis skyway, and
appeared to draw a significant amount of interest.
says it could be the first in a series of what he calls
‘Minnesota Legends.’ He says his children inspired him
to paint Puckett.
“They were as excited about dad doing Kirby as anything, and they act
as if Kirby is present day ball player,” Sanislo
Sanislo may donate the painting if the Twins or a local charity