Tag Archives: NFL

Jeffrey Keirn Wins “Monday Night Football” Competition

Canton artist Jeffrey Keirn is the winner of the $5,000 prize to create a design that captures the spirit of the sixth moment of The ELEVEN: Monday Night Football. His design will become part of a giant banner mural to be installed on the south wall of the Chase Bank Tower (101 Central Plaza South) in downtown Canton, OH. On Monday night September 21, 1970 ABC-TV aired the first NFL game ever — on a weeknight. Some thought the experiment was doomed. But more than 80,000 fans, and a huge television audience, watched the Cleveland Browns defeat Joe Namath’s New York Jets 31-21. Producer Roone Arledge dramatically changed how football was produced on television, starting with using a trio of announcers that included Keith Jackson, Don Meredith and Howard Cosell. The rest is history, and why the Pro Football Hall of Fame selected Monday Night Football as one of professional football’s greatest moments for ArtinStark’s public art series The ELEVEN. Four other Ohio artists will receive $500 prizes for their creative entries: Tommy Morgan (Minerva), Rachel Vaught (Columbus), Dick Close (Cincinnati), and Derek Brennan (Lakewood). “We received lots of great ideas,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins, “but Keirn’s bold concept of having the teams exploding right out of the TV set really set him apart as the winner.” The sponsors of the Monday Night Football are: The Deuble Foundation, The Hoover Foundation, Stark Community Foundation, and The Timken Foundation.
 Monday Night Football on Chase Bank Tower – 101 Central Plaza South – before winning image for inside TV has been selectedThis past August, ArtsinStark invited Ohio artists to send in their concepts for an image that would go inside the giant television set being created as part of Monday Night Football. All the entries followed the rules by sending in ideas that would neatly fit inside the TV set — but Keirn’s, whose submission broke out of the TV and took over the entire wall. Members of the Selection Committee were: Sally Morse Dale, Max Deuble, Brian Zimmerman, Emil Alecusan, and Max Barton. 

 ArtsinStark has completed five of the ELEVEN moments to date: The Birth (sculpture), The Draft (sculpture), The Merger (sculpture), The Reintegration (banner mural), and the Super Bowl III (mural). Monday Night Football will be the sixth moment of the series. Keirn, who is a chalk pastel street artist, is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a graphic designer by day. He will have 22 days to finalize his concept, so that ArtsinStark can get Monday Night Football installed by Christmas.

 Here is an excerpt from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 150 Anniversary Book that explains why Monday Night Football is so important: Sundays have long been synonymous with NFL football. But in 1970, a new weekly tradition that included one featured game on Monday night forever changed the landscape of the game. Few could imagine the enduring impact of ABC’s telecast of the NFL during prime time on a weeknight. Doubters were prevalent when the Cleveland Browns faced the New York Jets in the Monday Night Football debut on September 21, 1970. Yet the tradition became a nationwide phenomenon that captured huge ratings and in turn was a major reason for the NFL’s dramatic rise in popularity in the years that followed.

 BACKGROUND – The NFL will be 100 years old in 2020. ArtsinStark’s goal is to have all 11 moments installed in time for that big celebration. Here are the eleven moments with a short description of each. 

1. Birth of the NFL, 1920. On September 17, representatives of the league’s ten charter teams, including Jim Thorpe and George Halas, meet in the showroom of Canton Bulldogs owner Ralph Hay’s automobile dealership, and create the NFL. (On August 1, 2014 Michael Clapper unveiled his 25-foot steel and glass sculpture.)
2. Red Grange turns Pro, 1925. The Chicago Bears sign college superstar halfback Harold “Red” Grange and he becomes pro football’s first big gate attraction.  

3. The NFL Draft, 1936. NFL Commissioner Bert Bell’s idea of teams selecting college players by inverse order, based on how they finished the prior season, changes the future of clubs overnight. (On August 7, 2015 Gail Folwell unveiled her bronze sculpture.)         
 4. Reintegration of Pro Football, 1946. The Los Angeles Rams sign Woody Strode and Kenny Washington, the Cleveland Browns sign Marion Motely and Bill Willis, and the doors of professional football open for African Americans. (Paul Collins created the painting. Both the painting and the mural were unveiled on August 5, 2016.)

 5. 1958 NFL Championship Game. In what has been called the “Greatest Game Ever Played,” Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts come back to beat the New York Giants in first “sudden death” NFL championship

6. Formation of the American Football League, 1959. The AFL is formed and for ten seasons expands into new markets, creates opportunities, and brings tremendous innovation to the game.
7. Pete Rozelle named NFL Commissioner, 1960. Rozelle begins his 29-year career during which he makes pro football America’s most popular sport, gets the first league-wide TV contract, negotiates the NFL/AFL merger, and transforms the Super Bowl into an international extravaganza.
8. AFL/NFL Merger, 1966. The costly battle between two rival leagues for players and markets ends with the June 8, 1966 announcement of the AFL-NFL merger. (David Griggs unveiled his granite and steel sculpture on June 23, 2016 in front the YMCA downtown.)
 9. The Ice Bowl, 1967. In frigid conditions at Lambeau Field on New Year’s Eve, Bart Starr and the Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 21 – 17, cementing the legacy of coach Vince Lombardi and the 1960 Green Bay Packers.

 10. Super Bowl III, 1968. Joe Namath, star quarterback of the AFL’s New York Jets, predicts victory over the NFL’s heavily favored Baltimore Colts and — in one of the greatest upsets in sports history — does exactly that 16 – 7. (On August 4 Dirk Rozich unveiled his mural on the side of Cultural Center for the Arts.) 

 11. Monday Night Football, 1970. The phenomenal success of NFL games telecast during prime time on a weeknight begins on September 21, 1970, when the Cleveland Browns face the New York Jets in ABC-TV’s Monday Night Football debut.                                       

ArtsinStark to Award $7,500 for Giant TV Image

ArtsinStark in Canton, OH invites any artist over 18 years of age living in the state of Ohio to submit an image to fit inside the giant television set being created for “Monday Night Football, 1970” — the sixth moment of The ELEVEN public art series.  ArtsinStark will award $5,000 to the winning artist, and $500 to each of five runners up.  All entries must be submitted by end of day September 18 at CAFÉ www.CallForEntry.org. Winners will be announced on October 2, 2017.  The area inside the TV screen is approximately 30’ high by 48’ wide.  Images submitted can be drawings, paintings, or digitally-created art.  The sponsors of “Monday Night Football” are: The Deuble Foundation, The Hoover Foundation, Stark Community Foundation, and The Timken Foundation.  For more information on The ELEVEN public art project, please go to www.ArtsinStark.com/84.

Canton, OH is the birthplace of the NFL.  The ELEVEN is a public art project of ArtsinStark and The Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrating the greatest moments in professional football history.  Five of the ELEVEN moments have been completed to date (three sculptures, one banner mural, and one painted mural).

“Monday Night Football” recognizes the phenomenal success of NFL games telecasted during prime time on a weeknight which began on September 21, 1970, when the Cleveland Browns faced the New York Jets on ABC-TV’s Monday Night Football debut.  Here is an excerpt from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 150 Anniversary Book: Sundays have long been synonymous with NFL football. But in 1970, a new weekly tradition that included one featured game on Monday night forever changed the landscape of the game. Few could imagine the enduring impact of ABC’s telecast of the NFL during prime time on a weeknight. Doubters were prevalent when the Cleveland Browns faced the New York Jets in the Monday Night Football debut on September 21, 1970. Yet the tradition became a nationwide phenomenon that captured huge ratings and in turn was a major reason for the NFL’s dramatic rise in popularity in the years that followed.

The judging criteria are: a) Does the design truly capture the moment?  b) Is the art of the highest possibility quality? and c) Is the concept so amazing that even visitors who don’t love football will still want to come see it?  Artists new to CAFÉ www.CallForEntry.org should reach out to Alaska Thompson, Project Coordinator at (330) 546-3098 or artbyalaska@gmail.com with questions.  Applying is a two-step process: 1) first you create a profile on CAFÉ https://youtu.be/2XOoFON-HMw , and 2) then you use your profile to apply for this specific call: Monday Night Football Design Competition ($7,500 in Prizes)

Dirk Rozich Wins “Super Bowl III” Mural Competition

More than 30 local artists applied for the $40,000 commission to create the artwork and paint the Super Bowl III mural on the side of the Cultural Center for the Arts (1001 Market Avenue North). The Selection Committee has picked Dirk Rozich as the winner, and awarded five other local artists $500 prizes for their very creative concepts: Tim Carmany, Judi Krew, Tommy Morgan, Su Nimon, and Scot Phillips. The ELEVEN is a public art project of ArtsinStark and The Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrating the greatest moments in professional football history. Four of the ELEVEN moments have been completed to date: The Birth (sculpture), The Draft (sculpture), The Merger (Sculpture), and The Reintegration (Mural). Super Bowl III will be the fifth moment of the series. It celebrates the year (1968) that Joe Namath, star quarterback of the AFL’s New York Jets, predicted victory over the NFL’s heavily favored Baltimore Colts and — in one of the greatest upsets in sports history — did exactly that 16 – 7. The plan is to unveil the Super Bowl III mural on Friday, August 4 during the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Festival. The sponsors of the Super Bowl III mural are: The Deuble Foundation, The Hoover Foundation, Stark Community Foundation, and The Timken Foundation.

Dirk Rozich is one of the most popular mural artists in Northeast Ohio. He has a B.F.A. in Illustration from the Columbus College of Art and Design. His life-size murals typically take several months to complete and allow the public to experience a mural in the making. Rozich welcomes any passerby to stop and share in the experience. Rozich wants the mural to capture the Jets’ epic overcoming of the Colts’ superior team in 1969, and Joe Namath’s historical quote that guaranteed that win. The mural will be in full color and will appear to stand away from the wall’s surface. “Namath’s larger-than-life demeanor is at the core of this mural,” says Rozich, “because against all odds, he led his outmatched team to an indisputable victory.”

The members of the Selection Committee were: Max Barton, Sally Morse Dale, Max Deuble, Chuck Hoover, Joe Horrigan, Jack McWhorter, Ron Ponder, and Mark Samolczyk.

BACKGROUND – The NFL will be 100 years old in 2020. ArtsinStark’s goal is to have all 11 moments installed in time for that big celebration. Here are the eleven moments with a short description of each.

1. Birth of the NFL, 1920. On September 17, representatives of the league’s ten charter teams, including Jim Thorpe and George Halas, meet in the showroom of Canton Bulldogs owner Ralph Hay’s automobile dealership, and create the NFL. (On August 1, 2014 Michael Clapper unveiled his 25-foot steel and glass sculpture.)

2. Red Grange turns Pro, 1925. The Chicago Bears sign college superstar halfback Harold “Red” Grange and he becomes pro football’s first big gate attraction.

3. The NFL Draft, 1936. NFL Commissioner Bert Bell’s idea of teams selecting college players by inverse order, based on how they finished the prior season, changes the future of clubs overnight. (On August 7, 2015 Gail Folwell unveiled her bronze sculpture.)

4. Reintegration of Pro Football, 1946. The Los Angeles Rams sign Woody Strode and Kenny Washington, the Cleveland Browns sign Marion Motely and Bill Willis, and the doors of professional football open for African Americans. (Paul Collins created the painting. Both the painting and the mural were unveiled on August 5, 2016.)

5. 1958 NFL Championship Game. In what has been called the “Greatest Game Ever Played,” Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts come back to beat the New York Giants in first “sudden death” NFL championship

6. Formation of the American Football League, 1959. The AFL is formed and for ten seasons expands into new markets, creates opportunities, and brings tremendous innovation to the game.

7. Pete Rozelle named NFL Commissioner, 1960. Rozelle begins his 29-year career during which he makes pro football America’s most popular sport, gets the first league-wide TV contract, negotiates the NFL/AFL merger, and transforms the Super Bowl into an international extravaganza.

8. AFL/NFL Merger, 1966. The costly battle between two rival leagues for players and markets ends with the June 8, 1966 announcement of the AFL-NFL merger. (David Griggs unveiled his granite and steel sculpture on June 23, 2016 in front the YMCA downtown.)

9. The Ice Bowl, 1967. In frigid conditions at Lambeau Field on New Year’s Eve, Bart Starr and the Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 21 – 17, cementing the legacy of coach Vince Lombardi and the 1960 Green Bay Packers.

10. Super Bowl III, 1968. Joe Namath, star quarterback of the AFL’s New York Jets, predicts victory over the NFL’s heavily favored Baltimore Colts and — in one of the greatest upsets in sports history — does exactly that 16 – 7. (Dirk Rozich will unveil his mural on the side of Cultural Center for the Arts in August 2017.)

11. Monday Night Football, 1970. The phenomenal success of NFL games telecast during prime time on a weeknight begins on September 21, 1970, when the Cleveland Browns face the New York Jets in ABC-TV’s Monday Night Football debut.

Giant Mural Celebrates “The Reintegration of Pro Football”

On Friday August 5 at 4:30 pm, on the side of the five-story Bliss Parking Deck (238 Cleveland Avenue NW) in downtown Canton, ArtsinStark unveiled a 30 by 90 foot mural commemorating The Reintegration of Pro Football in 1946.

More than 100 artists from 33 states applied to create the painting upon which the giant mural is based. The selection committee chose as the winner Paul Collins from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mr. Collins designed the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize Medal, won the People’s Choice Award in Paris, and has been voted one of the top 20 painters in America. “There had been a handful of African American players in pro football between 1904 and 1933,” says Robb Hankins, ArtsinStark CEO, “but from 1934 to 1946 — pro football had its own color barrier.” The mural memorializes how football history was changed forever in 1946, when the Los Angeles Rams signed Woody Strode and Kenny Washington, and the Cleveland Browns signed Marion Motley and Bill Willis. “The ELEVEN is a $2.2 million public art series of ArtsinStark and The Pro Football Hall of Fame,” explains ArtsinStark board chair Max Deuble. “We are celebrating the greatest moments in professional football history, and these eleven monumental sculptures, murals, and multi-media art will all be within walking distance of one another in downtown Canton.”

In 1946, these four African American football players brought about the permanent reintegration of pro football, a full year before Jackie Robinson did it for baseball. A documentary called “The Forgotten Four” released last year tells the story of their lives — www.ArtsinStark.com/eleven . The Pro Football Hall of Fame selected the eleven greatest moments. ArtsinStark is raising the $2.2 million to install them and commissioning all the artists. The “Reintegration of Pro Football” moment of The ELEVEN is being sponsored by 1) The George H. Deuble Foundation, 2) The Hoover Foundation, 3) Stark Community Foundation, and 4) Timken Foundation of Canton. In-kind Supporters are Hilscher-Clarke Electric and KebCo Precision Fabricators. The goal is to have all eleven of the moments done by 2020 for the 100th anniversary of the NFL.

In August, 2014 artist Michael Clapper unveiled the first moment, his 25-foot steel and glass sculpture The Birth of the NFL. In August, 2015 artist Gail Folwell delivered to Canton the second moment, a five figure bronze sculpture memorializing The NFL Draft. This June artist David Griggs installed his steel and granite sculpture commemorating The AFL/NFL Merger.

The Reintegration of Pro Football is the first mural.

Paul Collins created the 30-painting series “Other Voices- A Native American Tableau” which opened in New York and then went to Paris. Collins was commissioned by the Amway Japan Corporation to create paintings on the customs of the Japanese people. His “Voices of Israel” exhibit of 25 paintings on the history of Israel has toured all over the U.S. He was one of 23 painters commissioned by Anheuser Busch to create works celebrating African leaders, which led to him being featured in a TV commercial commemorating the original airing of “Roots.” He is the first African-American artist to paint the portrait of a sitting President of the United States.

BACKGROUND: ArtsinStark — Kids, Jobs, Communities. We are a 46 year old private, non-profit organization that gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, runs the Annual Arts Campaign, and much more (Canton Arts District, First Fridays, SmArts Program in the schools, 20/20 Vision, and the ELEVEN). More at www.ArtsinStark.com. Our annual budget is $3 million. What we don’t earn, we raise each spring through the Annual Arts Campaign. In May 2016 the Campaign raised $1.7 million— to become the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 11 years in a row. (Over the last decade we have increased private sector giving to the arts by 85%.)

Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Eleven Greatest Moments
(arranged chronologically)

1. Birth of the NFL, 1920. On September 17, representatives of the league’s ten charter teams, including Jim Thorpe and George Halas, meet in the showroom of Canton Bulldogs owner Ralph Hay’s automobile dealership, and create the NFL. (On August 1, 2014 Michael Clapper unveiled his 25-foot steel and glass sculpture “Birth of the NFL, 1920.”)

2. Red Grange turns Pro, 1925. The Chicago Bears sign college superstar halfback Harold “Red” Grange and he becomes pro football’s first big gate attraction.

3. The NFL Draft, 1936. NFL Commissioner Bert Bell’s idea of teams selecting college players by inverse order, based on how they finished the prior season, changes the future of clubs overnight. (On August 7, 2015 Gail Folwell unveiled her five bronze figure sculpture “The NFL Draft, 1936.”)

4. Reintegration of Pro Football, 1946. The Los Angeles Rams sign Woody Strode and Kenny Washington, the Cleveland Browns sign Marion Motely and Bill Willis, and the doors of professional football open for African Americans. (Paul Collins was commissioned to create a painting for “The Reintegration of Pro Football, 1946.” Both the painting and the mural are being unveiled on August 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm.)

5. 1958 NFL Championship Game. In what has been called the “Greatest Game Ever Played,” Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts come back to beat the New York Giants in first “sudden death” NFL championship

6. Formation of the American Football League, 1959. The AFL is formed and for ten seasons expands into new markets, creates opportunities, and brings tremendous innovation to the game.

7. Pete Rozelle named NFL Commissioner, 1960. Rozelle begins his 29-year career during which he makes pro football America’s most popular sport, gets the first league-wide TV contract, negotiates the NFL/AFL merger, and transforms the Super Bowl into an international extravaganza.

8. AFL/NFL Merger, 1966. The costly battle between two rival leagues for players and markets ends with the June 8, 1966 announcement of the AFL-NFL merger. (David Griggs built “The AFL/NFL Merger, 1966” sculpture, and it was unveiled on June 23, 2016 at 12 noon in front the YMCA downtown.)

9. The Ice Bowl, 1967. In frigid conditions at Lambeau Field on New Year’s Eve, Bart Starr and the Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 21 – 17, cementing the legacy of coach Vince Lombardi and the 1960 Green Bay Packers.

10. Super Bowl III, 1968. Joe Namath, star quarterback of the AFL’s New York Jets, predicts victory over the NFL’s heavily favored Baltimore Colts and — in one of the greatest upsets in sports history — does exactly that 16 – 7.

11. Monday Night Football, 1970. The phenomenal success of NFL games telecast during prime time on a weeknight begins on September 21, 1970, when the Cleveland Browns face the New York Jets in ABC-TV’s Monday Night Football debut.

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Unveiling of The Reintegration of Pro Football

by Judi Christy

“The Reintegration of Pro Football,” is not only the title of the latest art installation in the downtown Canton Art District but also a very timely reminder that inequality was alive and well long before the RNC, Trayvon Martin and Selma, Alabama.  It’s also a sign of hope, that the fire fueled by the political and racial unrest of today, will possibly be simmered if cooler heads and warmer hearts are heard.

In fact, if the sentiment was not so raw, the work could be titled, “Black Lives Matter.”  But, then, we’d have to get political.  And goodness knows, professional sports, like religion, does not play with well when asked pick a side.

So, let’s start with a history lesson: 

When professional football began in 1920, all athletes regardless of color were permitted to play.  The leagues were smaller and so it might be surprising that only 17 African Americans suited up for the games, but there was no rule or retaliation in place, as the best man for the job, could indeed get the job.  But in 1933, this was no longer the case.  In the aftermath of the Great Depression, work was scarce and fear was plentiful.  And people like George Preston Marshall led a charge to ban blacks from the sport, as he incited others to agree that they were taking away jobs from men who were white.  And, because Mr. Marshall was the owner of a professional football team (ironically named the Washington Redskins), people listened and followed, agreeing that professional sports should be only played by white athletes.

And, so was the case until the mid-1940s.

History applauds professional baseball for striking down the wall of race by putting Jackie Robinson, #42 and an African-American, on the plate.  He had a wonderful career, movies, books, statues and street names commemorating the 1947 occasion.

But, little has been noted about the previous year (1946) and a sport that, at the time, was not considered as America’s favorite pastime.  But, it was football that actually tackled the problem in black and white.

In 1946, Cleveland’s NFL team, the Rams, moved to Los Angeles and sought a lease to play at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. At the same time, a team from a rival league, the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), also applied to play there. Under pressure from the Coliseum Commission and black sportswriters —both the NFL’s Rams and the AAFC’s Dons announced their intent to integrate as a condition of their leases.  Or, to put it more bluntly, they needed more guys to play in the games.

As a result, four black players: Ken Washington and Woody Strode, both from UCLA, played for the FL’s Los Angeles Rams and Bill Willis (Ohio State) and Marion Motley (Naval Station Great Lakes) were signed by the All American Football Conference’s (AAFC) Cleveland Browns, under coach and owner, Paul Brown.

But the reintegration process was not immediate.  In 1950, only six of the 13 NFL teams had a total of 11 black players. But by 1953, when the world was in the hunky-dory aftermath of WWII victory and peaceful times, all of the NFL teams, but one, were integrated.

It took nine more years, for (you guessed it) the Washington Redskins, to add Bob Mitchell and Ron Hatcher, two African American players to their roster in 1962.  (Side note:  George Preston Marshall was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, the same year he suffered a stroke.)

Today, approximately 69% of all NFL players are African-American.

And now for the poetic justice part of the blog:

Artist Paul Lamar Collins is of African-American and Native-American heritage.  At age 79, he has a mile long Wikipedia page and hundreds of brass name plates in galleries, throughout the world, celebrating his success of one the top 20 painters in the United States of America.   He designed the Martin Luther King “Non-Violence/Peace Prize Medal” for Coretta Scott King, created an 18’ mural for President Gerald Ford, and worked with the United Nations as a diplomatic liaison with the Sioux Indians.   Among his first exhibits was the 1969 “Black Portrait of an African Journey,” depicting travels to West Africa to portray the daily lives of the Senegalese and Gambian people.

And, this August, he brings his work to Canton, Ohio.  As the winner of the $25,000 commission for a mural depicting the “Reintegration of Professional football,” Collins becomes the fourth nationally-acclaimed artist to have his/her work chosen to represent one of the Eleven Greatest Moments in Professional Football History, a $2.2 million partnership between ArtsinStark and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It’s fitting that Collins is the artist.  It’s fitting that this is the moment.  It’s fitting that now is the time.

The Reintegration of Pro Football: 1946
Friday, August 5, 2016
4:30 p.m.
Bliss Parking Deck
217 2nd Street NW, Canton, OH 44702

 

 

 

 

“Reintegration of Pro Football” Painting and Mural to be Unveiled

On Friday August 5 at 4:30 pm a painting commemorating The Reintegration of Pro Football — as well as a 30 foot by 90 foot mural of that painting — will be unveiled at the Bliss Parking Deck at 238 Cleveland Avenue NW in downtown Canton. The artwork is part of The ELEVEN, a $2.2 million public art series of ArtsinStark and The Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrating the greatest moments in professional football history. “In 1946, 70 years ago, a full year before Jackie Robinson began playing professional baseball, four African American football players brought about the permanent reintegration of pro football,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins. “This art celebrates these heroic men: Marion Motley, Bill Willis, Woody Strode, and Kenny Washington.” The artist is Paul Collins from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Collins designed the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize Medal, won the People’s Choice Award in Paris, and has been voted one of the top 20 painters in America. A documentary called “The Forgotten Four” was released last year to tell the story of these four athletes. The public is invited to attend the 30 minute ceremony.

There had been a handful of African American players in pro football between 1904 and 1933, but from 1934 to 1946 — pro football had its own color barrier. That all changed in 1946, when the Los Angeles Rams signed Strode and Washington, and the Cleveland Browns signed Motley and Willis. This moment of The ELEVEN is being sponsored by 1) The George H. Deuble Foundation,
2) The Hoover Foundation, 3) Stark Community Foundation, and 4) Timken Foundation of Canton. In-kind Supporters are Hilscher-Clarke Electric and KebCo Precision Fabricators.

This is the fourth moment of The ELEVEN to be unveiled, and the first mural. In August, 2014 artist Michael Clapper presented the first moment, his 25-foot steel and glass sculpture The Birth of the NFL. In August, 2015 artist Gail Folwell delivered the second moment, her five bronze figure sculpture The NFL Draft. And just this June artist David Griggs installed his steel and granite sculpture The AFL/NFL Merger. “The eleven monumental pieces of public art will all be within walking distance of one another in downtown Canton,” says ArtsinStark Board Chair Max Deuble, “and our goal is to have all of them done by 2020 for the 100th anniversary of the NFL.”

Paul Collins created the 30-painting series “Other Voices- A Native American Tableau” which opened in New York and then went to Paris. Collins was commissioned by the Amway Japan Corporation to create paintings on the customs of the Japanese people. His “Voices of Israel” exhibit of 25 paintings on the history of Israel has toured all over the U.S. He was one of 23 painters commissioned by Anheuser Busch to create works celebrating African leaders, which led to him being featured in a TV commercial commemorating the original airing of “Roots.” He is the first African-American artist to paint the portrait of a sitting President of the United States.

BACKGROUND: ArtsinStark — Kids, Jobs, Communities. We are a 46 year old private, non-profit organization that gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, runs the Annual Arts Campaign, and much more (Canton Arts District, First Fridays, SmArts Program in the schools, 20/20 Vision, and the ELEVEN). More at www.ArtsinStark.com. Our annual budget is $3 million. What we don’t earn, we raise each spring through the Annual Arts Campaign. In May 2016 the Campaign raised $1.7 million— to become the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 11 years in a row. (Over the last decade we have increased private sector giving to the arts by 85%.)