The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Jaguars kicked-off a partnership that brings NFL football and local artists together for an exciting fundraiser. Twenty official NFL footballs, uniquely painted by well-known, NE Florida artists and signed by Jaguar team members, including K Josh Lambo, WR DJ Chark Jr., P Logan Cooke, OL Andrew Norwell and WR Collin Johnson, will be auctioned off by the Jaguars Foundation for the next ten days.
The idea came about when Adriel Rocha, Cultural Council Board Member and Community Relations Manager at Jacksonville Jaguars, presented the idea as a fundraiser to the Cultural Council a few months ago. Using his position with the Jaguars to support his love for art in his newly appointed Board position, he worked with the Cultural Council to have 20 official NFL footballs dipped in white paint to create a blank canvas for the participating artists. After an official call to artists went out, five were chosen for their unique style and talent.
“We were thrilled with the response and it was difficult to choose which artists would be best suited for the project. We wanted to have different styles that would appeal to a wide array of people. The chosen artist achieved exactly that. They are all amazing,” said Diana Donovan, executive director of the Cultural Council. “They are all so unique, from abstract to realism, but they all either specifically or figuratively, represent the Jaguars or something special about Jacksonville. Tabitha Skye, whose work is a combination of realism, surrealism and pop art, said the inspiration for her designs was the passion, determination & energy of the game of football. “I was hoping to evoke excitement! This plays a part in the Jacksonville community by highlighting our very own NFL team & Jaguars players who dedicate themselves to the amazing game of football.”
Ted Head, an award winning artist, known for his realistic paintings, has been painting wildlife animals for years. “As an artist, I’ve painted many of the zoo’s animals, including a majestic jaguar, sunning regally on a cliff. To me, nothing symbolizes our team more than these marvelous creatures painted in oils. As we move into a new and exciting phase, it’s an honor to be part of the new season. After being constrained by the limits Covid placed on us, I, and the community, are ready to see the Jaguars regain their glory…with strength, cunning, and a fighting spirit!”
The other three participating artists include: Alma Ramirez, Dustin Harewood, and Heather Blanton. Each artist painted five footballs in their own unique style and will be compensated with a base stipend and a percentage of the purchase price of the footballs they painted. The remaining funds from the auction will go to the Cultural Council to contribute to grants, programming, events, and additional areas of support.
“We appreciate this unique opportunity to collaborate with the Jaguars and the NFL and see it as the perfect kick off to our new "Arts +” campaign. Arts + Sports perfectly come together in this project and reflect the power of art to connect, inspire, and bring beauty to unexpected places and situations." This collaborative project presents a National Platform for showcasing Jacksonville's creative economy, igniting a merger of artists and athletes to bring a fresh perspective to a quality of life we all share, as well as a commitment to serving our city together as a team of innovators and placemakers - ARTS+ Sports!”
The twenty footballs are available on the official Jaguar’s auction website beginning today, April 26th, and will remain up for ten days. These footballs are true works of art by well-known and award winning NE Florida artists and signed by members of the Jaguar organization. They will appeal to anyone who collects memorabilia, loves the Jags, loves art and wants to support Jacksonville artists and the Arts & Culture community of Greater Jacksonville.
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is sponsored in part by the City of Jacksonville and by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida.