The USTA officially unveiled four “Art Courts” at the Harvard Tennis Park, in front of a crowd featuring Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson and children from the Pete Brown Junior Tennis Program. The courts were refurbished and then finished with artwork by L.A.-based artist Charlie Edmiston. Today’s event featured more than 20 kids from the Pete Brown Junior Tennis Program, a National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapter that utilizes the courts at Harvard tennis Park tennis programming throughout the year. In all, the finished creation took 12 days to complete.
Art Courts is an extension of the USTA and Chase’s Return the Serve program, which supports the USTA Foundation and its youth tennis and education programs across the country through the NJTL network. Through Return the Serve, Chase has donated over $500,000 to local NJTL chapters.
The USTA commissioned Charlie Edmiston to turn the tennis courts at Harvard Tennis Park into his canvas. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he began his career as a graffiti artist working in a variety of styles and mediums, including colorful hard-edge paintings, large-scale murals, and bold design graphics. Charlie’s use of vibrant colors embodies the energy of L.A. along with the allure of Southern California.
Earlier in the project, world No. 15 ranked tennis pro and 2017 Australian and US Open Semifinalist CoCo Vandeweghe joined children from the Pete Brown Junior Tennis Program and area Chase employees to assist Edmiston with the painting of the courts at Harvard Tennis Park.
In total, artists in five markets across the country have been given free rein to re-imagine what a tennis court can look like, and in the process restore each of the public tennis facilities. In each market including Miami, Chicago, Cincinnati and New York, a tennis facility has been identified as needing court refurbishments and is targeted to benefit the city’s local NJTL chapter. The NJTL network includes more than 350 tennis and education chapters nationwide, supported by the USTA Foundation through grants, scholarships, and technical assistance. These chapters reach more than 200,000 under-resourced youth on an annual basis.
“On behalf of the USTA and the USTA Foundation, I want to thank Charlie for his work at the Harvard Tennis Park, and for giving the children of the Pete Brown Junior Tennis Program and all those utilizing the courts at the facility the opportunity to play on such a dynamic surface,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “With the support of Chase, the refurbishment of these public courts will continue to bring joy to children of all ages for years to come.”
“It was an honor to be selected by the USTA for the Art Courts initiative in Los Angeles,” said Edmiston. “This has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I’ve worked on. Spending the week at the Harvard Tennis Park and feeling the excitement of the community as the courts were getting painted was such a pleasure. Hanging out and working with the local kids was truly an amazing experience. I can’t wait to see the courts in action. I hope our effort brings a positive energy to the neighborhood and becomes a destination for tennis and art lovers.”
“We’re proud of our continued support of the USTA Foundation’s work to bring tennis to underserved communities,” said Frank Nakano, head of Sports and Entertainment for JPMorgan Chase. “Art Courts uniquely brings together two art forms while offering quality public facilities for kids, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results.”
“It is a privilege when you can be part of connecting art and sports to create a thriving community for families in South Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “Thank you to Los Angeles artist Charlie Edmiston and the U.S. Tennis Association for making today possible.”
Tennis enthusiasts and followers can take part in the excitement of the Art Courts by utilizing the hashtag #USOpenArtCourtsxChase across social media channels.