Tag Archives: TV

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.                                       

Stardust Dinner Theatre Going Strong in its 5th Season

by Todd Walburn

Artists are often faced with the dilemma of whether to create art they love doing or art that will be commercially successful.  My advice always is that art which is created honestly, with care and love of the process will always be successful on some level, even if it’s just the feeling of satisfaction from its creator.  It is the fortunate artist who finds the two paths intersect and find a medium or a style that resonates with their audience that is also something that they love doing.

This is true of any kind of art, whether it’s painting or writing or theater.  While the processes are different, the desire to connect in a positive way with your audience is the same.  One group who seems to have found that right mix of the drive to create and positive connection with a large audience are the talented folks at Stardust Dinner Theater.  The combination of great theater and a great meal appear to be just what people in Stark County were longing for and that’s exactly what they provide.  The group’s founder and creative director, Kathy Lewis Snyder, who formed the group in 2011, believes that when it stops being something she enjoys doing it will time to stop doing it altogether.  Now starting their 5th season at Tozzi’s on 12th, with a busy schedule, sold out audiences and great reviews behind them, Kathy is ready to have even more fun this year with no signs of the end in sight.

When the group started doing a series of murder mysteries, using rented lights, borrowed costumes and projecting their voices without the aid of microphones, Kathy was determined to work with people who were talented, committed to putting on great shows and shared her enthusiasm for finding fun in their work.  Now, five years later, the group has expanded their repertoire to include tributes of popular TV shows including The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy and Alfred Hitchcock in addition to their popular murder mysteries.

Their season, which usually begins as the weather warms in March, is just getting started (they just wrapped The Cannoli Caper at Tozzi’s and are gearing up for Always Patsy Cline, opening at the end of May and a mash up of the TV show/murder mystery formats in an Andy Griffith Murder Mystery later this year.)  Now they have their own lights, their own costumes and headset mics but they still haven’t stopped having fun doing what they love doing….and it shows.  They continue to fill houses, provide great entertainment at a venue that serves terrific meals and bring classic TV and classic genres back to an audience that never seems to cease being curious what they will come up with next.

Food for thought: buy art, buy local

by Judi Christy

When Mike Christy and I were young and stupid, we made the decision to do something dangerous. We went to the Starving Artist Sale at what was then a Holiday Inn, someplace toward Cleveland. We had less than 50-bucks, a couch from JC Penney’s overstock sale, and a one-room rental house with bare walls, save for shadow-boxed wedding invitation made by a well-meaning aunt. I would not let Mike put up the Rush poster from his college apartment, so we were pretty much a blank slate.

“We need to buy some art,” I probably said. He, of course agreed.

“But where does one buy art?” we wondered. Neither of our parents were the museum-types, both preferring instead to decorate with framed family pictures from strong-armed salesmen from Olan Mills or the occasional over-the-couch lighthoused landscaped, bought on a whim, from the sales bin at Sears. Mike, as I mentioned, decorated in album covers. And, I had not yet discovered my inner-decorator.

So, we were stumped.

But, then I saw an ad on TV. “The Starving Artist Sale. Original Artwork starting at 10-dollars.”

Well dang. Let’s just hop in the K-car and bring our checkbook.

And so we did.

But, the Starving Artist Sale was stupid. It involved rows and rows of 8-foot tables lined with wooden crates of categorized “masterpieces,” from which to choose. Clowns were very popular as were street scenes from what I’m guessing was Paris. Abstracts, a term I would later learn, were plentiful too, although Mike thought they were “garbage” while I was slightly perplexed by the claim of the boxes and boxes of originals that looked exactly the same.

We liked nothing.

But, because I am a wuss, I always feel guilty for not buying something from someone – particular an artist, who I naïvely feared was starving. So, we ended up with this orange and yellow oil of a vase of flowers, matted in tan (to bring out the richness of the mums) and factory packed in a cheesily carved faux wood frame. It was cheap and small. But, despite those attributes, it sadly did not match the couch – or the drapes, or for that matter, our tastes. And, so I ended up giving it to my mother AS A GIFT. She loved it and had it hanging, for years, right above the toilet in my childhood home. If you’re intrigued, you might just find it at Goodwill.

But, I’m getting sidetracked.

The point is, there was no real starving artist behind that hideous painting or the big box buffoonery that is the Starving Artist Show and Sale. It’s a sham and a shame.
If you want art, buy art.

But, don’t go to the Holiday Inn, the No Tell Motel, or the department store. Buy art from an artist. A real artist. One who has paint under his fingernails and grit in his blood. Someone, who, in spite of his best efforts, is having one heck of a time trying to make a living doing what God, and more than likely, his mother, intended him to do. (Side note: My use of male pronouns does not mean I’m sexist, just confused as to which to use with a singular noun.) I mean all artists, as regardless of gender, the pay is equally a challenge.

And don’t be fooled. These Starving Artist Shows and Sales still go on – all the time. I recently heard a barrage of ads on TV, peppered between the lowest prices of the season sale at Levin and a weight loss supplement that guaranteed significant weight loss without diet or exercise.

They use the same tactic of granting wishes without work. And, it works. These shows are packed – all across the county, hooking people like the 1984 versions of clueless Mike and Judi who just needed something for the living room without spending too much money.

It’s probably because the pitch, the same I remember, is so unbelievably compelling:

“At the Starving Artist Show, you will discover original hand painted oils and acrylics that exhibit vibrant color and the rich hues that can only be created with the palette knife and brush of a skilled artist. Large oils and acrylic abstracts thickly painted and signed by both local and international artist. Deeply discounted from gallery prices….Making art affordable for everyone.”

News flash – Art is affordable for everyone. Original Art signed by original people, not carbon copied canvases slathered with thick paint and flown in from a warehouse. We have plenty of starving artists in Stark County. Feed your soul. End the hunger. Buy local.