Six Square is the nexus of thriving Black arts and culture in Central East Austin. We re-animate cultural spaces, connect community, and honor the past, present, and future of Austin’s Black Cultural District.
The renovation of Downs Field and the murals are the work of the nonprofit organization, Six Square. Named after the six-mile area on Austin's east side, Six Square restores historic sites and teaches the history of some of the district's most important places.
Like the community they represent, the mosaic murals at Downs-Mabson Field are bold and full of life. Artist Reginald Adams from Houston created five mosaic tile portraits of some of Downs Field's most well-known athletes. Under his guidance, the community came together to remember Satchel Paige, Hilton Smith, Toni Stone, Joe Williams, and Willie Wells by carefully placing brightly colored tiles of different shapes and sizes. The murals bring the story of Downs Field to life. With the images of the great ballplayers in your head, you can practically see them playing on the field before you.
The work Six Square is doing is wonderful for the community and the entire country. Many of the fields the Negro Leagues played at are no longer around, and as focal points of many African-American communities, they each have interesting stories to tell. Recently, Downs Field received a historical marker for the location's role as a host for the African American Barnstormers.
Cover photo by @preservationaustin via Instagram.