Canton to get public art commemorating NFL founding

August 31, 2013 by  

Denver artist Michael Clapper is fabricating artwork for installation in Canton, Ohio, it was confirmed this month. The piece, which is 23 feet in height, is called ‘Birth of the NFL’ and is made from glass, steel and stainless steel. It is set to hit the city in just over a month’s time.

‘Birth’ is only the first of eleven pieces of public art slated for Canton, which has long been associated with professional football. The art works are collectively called ‘The Eleven’, and will be placed throughout Canton’s downtown area. Each piece memorializes a special moment in the history of professional football. The installation of ‘Birth’ is slated for October of 2013, but could be later in the year.

Not all of The Elven works are sculptures; other exhibits will include murals, video installations, and lights, but all will be connected to the sport the city has deeply at its roots.

Canton’s association with football goes back to September 17, 1920, when Ralph Hay, Jim Thorpe, and other officials attended a meeting held at an auto dealer here—one at which the National Football League was born. The car dealership is long gone and the space, at 201 Cleveland Avenue S.W., is now the site of the Frank T. Bow Federal Building. ‘Birth’ will stand in front of the Bow building.

With public art very much on the agenda, Canton officials might consider working with brochure printers to create material for display, describing each piece and giving its location to those who would like to see the full set.

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