A new mural greeting patrons to the Sportsman Hotel pays tribute to the iconic Brisbane gay venue’s history.
The mural was unveiled last month to coincide with the 57th Queens Ball Awards, and depicts two leather-clad men alongside Queensland drag queens Vollie LaVont and Mandy Moobs surrounded by a rainbow ribbon, below the words “Sporties Forever”.
The gay owned and operated venue in Spring Hill, known to locals as Sporties, is 28 years old this year.
Owner Neil McLucas said the artwork is “a really striking and wonderful way to greet everyone coming in the front door.”
“Our assistant manager Chris Wright has always said he wanted to put some sort of mural along the front there,” he said.
“He found Mikarla, the artist who designed. She finished the artwork in about a week and I think she’s done such an absolutely wonderful job with it.”
The mural was created by artist Mikarla Teague, who works at Brisbane’s Open Doors Youth Service, co-facilitating the service’s Jelly Beans and Art Therapy Group programs.
“I’m an art therapist at Open Doors, working with a lot of disadvantaged LGBTIQ youth. I got involved in the mural through word-of-mouth, word got around that I’m an artist as well,” she said.
“I designed the mural with the ideas of the staff, Neil McLucas and the entire team at Sporties.
“They gave me some ideas and let me know about the background of Sporties, and the history and the incredible culture at the venue. I came up with the design based on that.
“I was really honoured to be asked to do it, Sporties has been such an important part of the Brisbane queer community for so many years now.”
Click on the photo of the mural below to enlarge:
(Photo by Dylan Hodgon/Sportsman Hotel)