ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Cowboys Stadium was designed to be an architectural marvel. But no one knew the concrete walls inside it would one day house some of the world’s largest canvases of contemporary art.
“We looked at the plans with our architect and found walls, big walls that would be nothing but concrete. And we knew we needed something to warm up our building and make it a good home for our fans,” said Gene Jones, the wife of the gregarious Cowboys owner Jerry.
She insisted the job be done right.
So the wife of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones assembled an art council of top professionals to help her select the proper mix of pieces and artists fitting of a world-class collection: Mel Bachner, Lawrence Weiner, Gary Simmons, and Franz Acherman welcome fans near the escaltors.
David Buran and Terry Haggerty elevate concession stands. And hovering above each major entrance, magnificent works by legends such as Olafur Eliasson stare you right in the face .
Many fans don’t even know it’s there.
“We’re hoping fans may say ‘Meet me at the Waterfall’,” Jones laughed, describing the colorful, massive mural by Franz Ackermann located in the stadium’s Southwest staircase. “And then let’s go to Terry Hagerty’s to get a hotdog!”
Annette Lawrence is the only North Nexas artist commissioned by Jones.
Her steel cable sculpture called Coin Toss, conceptualized in her humble Denton studio, was so powerful, the stadium walls needed to be torn down and reinforced to support it.
“This collection is enviable by museums all over the world. When I tell people I have a piece there, they’re like ‘I love that piece!’ is usually the response. It’s been very positive,” she said.
The UNT professor says the attention from Coin Toss has lifted her professional and personally, knowing her own work now hangs among her heroes, masters whose names she studied and recently found in journals from her freshman year.
“It feels really rewarding to have something that’s part of a bigger project be a joy for me, being with artists I’ve admired and respected since I was in art school,” said the smiling, soft-spoken Lawrence.
Gene Jones says the gallery’s next addition is slated for the stadium’s other massive canvas – the video board.
She’s also created an AP for tours of the art collection, in which each artist explains his or her piece. Find more information on the Cowboys Collection here.