QUEENS — Just in time for the 2016 concert season at the Forest Hills Stadium, which kicks off Thursday night, a new mural was painted in the neighborhood to pay tribute to tennis legends who once played at that venue.
The mural, which features black and white shapes of Althea Gibson, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King on green background, was sprayed onto the wall under the 71st Avenue Long Island Rail Road overpass, on the way to the stadium.
Directly across the street another mural, depicting The Ramones, was painted last week.
Both murals were the initiative of the group behind the concerts at the stadium who teamed up with 501 See Streets, a nonprofit dedicated to beautifying neighborhoods through art.
Bronx-based artist Andre Trenier began painting the tennis-themed mural on Tuesday morning and was hard at work Wednesday night, trying to finish it by Thursday, when Mumford and Sons opens this year’s concert season at the stadium, he said.
“I think it's terrific,” said Forest Hills resident Melissa Siegel, 57, about the murals. “It looks so much better than bare walls, and wondering what graffiti we were going see next.”
Graffiti around the Forest Hills LIRR station had been an issue in the past.
Concert organizers said they wanted to honor the history of the stadium with the newest mural.
The venue used to host the U.S. Open, before it moved to the larger National Tennis Center in Flushing in 1977. In the 1960's and 1970's it also held numerous concerts, including performances by the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, the Doors and the Rolling Stones.
Currently, the stadium is used primarily for summer concerts, which resumed there after a decades-long hiatus in August 2013.
A new mural depicts tennis legends who once played at the Forest Hills Stadium, including Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe. (DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska)