LINE ART

LINE ART

BY TONY PHIFER

ON HER BEST DAY, Linny Frickman checks in at 5 feet and 100 pounds. Which makes her about the last person you would expect to find organizing a groundbreaking art show focused on football.

But for Frickman, director of the Colorado State University Art Museum, football and art create a perfect backdrop to initiate a discussion about America’s most popular sport and its role in our cultural development over the past 150 years.

“When I was a little girl, my dad was a rabid University of Michigan fan,” she said. “On fall Saturdays we would watch Michigan football on TV with the Metropolitan Opera on the radio in the background. To, me there has never been a great divide between arts and sports, but I know that’s not the case for a lot of people.”

Seeking a way to bridge that divide, Frickman has spent nearly three years doing the logistical legwork to assemble what will be the largest
art exhibition in CSU’s history. The result: Scrimmage: Football in American Art from the Civil War to the Present.

The exhibit will include more than 100 pieces of artwork, including paintings, drawings, posters, photos, sculptures, magazine covers and much more. The works were created by some of America’s greatest artists – including Winslow Homer, Frederic Remington, George Bellows, and Andy Warhol – and include contemporary creations and some that date to pre-Civil War America.

Frickman worked with several museums to secure the works for the exhibit, which runs from Aug. 28 to Dec. 18, 2015, at the museum in the University Center for the Arts. She expects more than 15,000 visitors, more than triple the traffic for previous exhibits.

Frickman hopes Scrimmage will start a dialog about football and art and their role in American culture.

“As far back as the 1870s, people were talking about head injuries in football. In later years, art inspired people to talk about the role of women in sports, plus things like integration and the racial makeup of teams,” she said. “This exhibition is a great opportunity for fans of football and art to initiate a conversation. I hope it gets everyone thinking.”

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