Productivity in any working environment can be directly correlated to the atmosphere cultivated within the space. In the past few months, Real Salt Lake has taken to heart, making a concerted effort not just to improve the amenities, staff and team, but the facilities as well.
When the players arrived back in Utah for preseason they were welcomed with a massive feat of art sprawled across the length of the weight room in rich blue, red and gold colors, an offseason gift meant to bring life into a space that serves as the part of the heartbeat for the team’s success.
The mural, designed by local artist Douglas Wilson, was commissioned mere weeks before the holiday season. With such a short window in which to accomplish this monstrous task Wilson immediately got to work brainstorming ideas that would both honor the former athletes and inspire those for generations to come.
“The goal was to select elements that represented the club and highlighted its successes,” Wilson said. “We wanted it to call back to the past, but also leave room for future accomplishments to come.”
Spread across four sections, broken up by large steel foundation frames, the artwork can be interpreted as one large piece, as well as four succinct designs. Additionally, broken in half the artwork features contrasting elements of fluidity on one side and harshness on the other, clashing in the middle with two words: family and pride.
From left to right, each panel features an individual design, clearly recognizable and representative of Real Salt Lake. The first section honors the 2009 championship team, centered by a large MLS Cup trophy, the second predominantly features one variation of the logo, the third is filled with a roaring lion and the final panel holds the club’s crest.
“I knew I wanted the lion to be a featured piece, taking a more artistic approach than what is more traditional used in relation to the club, it has a lot of harsh lines and jumps out quite aggressively, and then on the other hand I also wanted to include the logo but I wanted to play with the elements differently, which is where the drips and fluidity came in,” Wilson said.
Since returning to training the mural has been a welcomed sight for the players and has been the subject of many photos. The weight room is an integral part to any team and now with the addition of the mural it's a constant reminder of what it means to be a part of Real Salt Lake and what it takes to win.