The Kansas City Chiefs football team and the Hunt Family have issued a call for artists to inaugurate a new Kansas City Chiefs Art Program. It’s part of Chiefs honcho Clark Hunt‘s plans for the team to celebrate its 50th year in Kansas City.
But make no mistake, this is no glorified phone book cover, sports art kinda proposition.
“I’m going to be applying for that Chiefs thing,” says respected local artist James Brinsfield. “The Chiefs have put out a notice to artists to submit art proposals to be displayed at Arrowhead.”
To date the only ones reporting on the program have local sports bloggers who don’t appear to have a clue as to how dead serious the Chiefs are about getting actual art rather than collages of Chiefs players scoring touchdowns or tackling opponents.
“Basically, the Chiefs want a bunch of cool artwork from local people to display in the stadium,” writes Arrowhead Pride’s Joel Thorman. “That’s a pretty good idea.”
“Gee, (Arrowhead Pride) readers, do we know anyone who fits this description? There was a guy around here a while back, can’t remember his name, but he did some pretty cool stuff. Of course we’re talking about Chris Sembower.”
Hey, anything’s possible.
But indications point to the Chiefs wanting serious art, not Cow Parade, Plaza Art Fair, Velvet Elvis style sendups.
“It’s a crap shoot,” Brinsfield muses. “The Chiefs could be interested in going out and getting a really dreadful corporate collection – things that would be understandable for everybody. But when Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys went out and got an art collection for their stadium, he went out and spent a lot of money and got the top international art world stars. He did it right. He didn’t just go out and get the world’s biggest Thomas Kinkade, let me put it that way.”
Just as local artists such as Brinsfield and Peregrine Honig turned their backs on the watered down public art project known as the Cow Parade several years back, there’ll be no compromising should they elect to submit their work to the Chiefs.
“No, if they’re going to get something from me, they’re going to get what I do,” Brinsfield says. “There’ll be no dumbing down. I’ll take my chances. But if they go the dumb route they’ll look like idiots, because there are some really good artists in Kansas City, so there’s no need for dumbing down.”
“It’s great that they have real people on the committee,” Stretch says. “For once it isn’t the usual suspects and there’s a chance to get some new blood for a change on the jury panel.”
At this point it’s Stretch’s intention to enter, probably with some sort of sculpture.
“I am going to apply,” he says. “Maybe a sculpture with repetitive parts and pieces kind of like one of my light sculptures with computer controlled lights.”
Such as Stretch’s artwork at the Davis Brown Tower in Des Moines.
And while Stretch agrees with Brinsfield that the last thing the Chiefs and Hunt Family’s art program needs are the types of college dorm room football art suggested by Arrowhead Pride, there’s no reason area artists can’t dial in a sports or football theme without compromising themselves.
“I think if you told Peregrine that she had to a sports-oriented piece of work, I think you’d get a badass piece of art,” Stretch says. “But if you think you can’t use a sports theme without selling out, don’t join the project.”