ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Cowboys are a hot ticket these days, but there’s more to the game that just the action on the field.
In our Texas Treasures CBS 11’s Russ McCaskey takes a look at how the Cowboys are tackling football and art — at the same time, in the same space.
The action on the field is the main show at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, but there’s something else you should see while there — the art work.
When building AT&T Stadium, Gene Jones and her husband, Jerry, decided that the very contemporary building needed contemporary art.
What you see on the walls is the inspiration of Gene. “You can’t have a great building without great art inside,” she said.
Phil Whitfield, who has become a bit of a celebrity as part of the cheerleader show, oversees the artists and gave us a tour. “No matter where you come in at you can see this neon piece inside the stadium. It sets the tone. I want people to come in here fired up,” Whitfield said.
Many of the pieces blend art and sport, like one called “Blue Field Explosion” by Gary Simmons.
Whitfield explained that, to get the effect on canvas, Simmons, “Pours white epoxy paint in his hands and he smears it like this,” he said gesturing. “He works with his hands.”
The end result is what an opposing player might experience after suffering a big hit… seeing stars.
All throughout the stadium there is art work.
Whitfield showed us a unique piece by artist Jim Campbell. It’s 3,000 blinking lights that your eye may not see it at first, but if you take out a camera and look through the lens, all of those lights illuminate 10 different Cowboys plays.
The art work is also getting the attention of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Remember when they were at the Cowboys game sitting next to former President George W. Bush? Ellen and Portia were at the stadium for the art.
“Portia is an artist herself and we are going to eventually get a chance where we are going to do some art with her also,” Whitfield said.
So far the Cowboys have 87 pieces of art by 60 different artists and that number is growing.
Whitfield said, “The art world wants to come here and they want to think about art. Everybody else wants to come here and do football, but that’s okay too. We have a perfect balance.”
Keep in mind, there is art work at both AT&T Stadium and at the Star in Frisco.
If you would like to see it for yourself, art tours are available by contacting AT&T Stadium.