California company uses lawn mower to create tribute to Kobe Bryant

By edited by Sarah Bunyea

The 115-by-92 foot image can only be seen from above.

Photo: New Ground Technology

An ordinary patch of grass at a Bay Area park in California was transformed Jan. 29 into a tribute to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who, along with eight others, was killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California Jan. 26.

According to an article by NBC Bay Area News, owners of New Ground Technology Kelli Pearson and her husband Pete Davis spent an hour creating the tribute to the 41-year-old star.

Situated next to a baseball diamond at a park in Pleasanton, blades of grass were bent in certain directions to reveal the 115-by-92 foot image of the smiling basketball superstar in his No. 24 Lakers jersey.

Pearson and Davis specialize in large format printing on turf. The “TurfPrinter” technology they use blows air to bend the grass in a designed direction that, when light hits it, unveils an image, which can only be seen from above.

“You look at the light and the dark stripes on a baseball field, it’s basically rollers on the mower either tilting the turf away from the viewer or towards the viewer,” Davis explains in the article. “So you can see the light reflecting off of the one direction and shadowing on the other. This machine uses that same pressure roller technique, but it does it in 3-inch squares using just air.”

Pearson and Davis expected Bryant’s image to last for about two days before the grass naturally straightens out. Davis says they did this to create something in honor of Kobe’s life and legacy.

Watch the video here.