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Arts and Entertainment

Canton installs the first piece of a $2.2 million public art project
The Arts in Stark project blends art and Canton's other passion: pro football

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Mchael Clapper's 'Birth of the NFL' is lowered onto its I-beam pedestal across from Canton City Hall.
Courtesy of M.L. SCHULTZE
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Traffic across the street from Canton City Hall slowed this morning as a crane lowered a massive piece of stainless steel onto an even more massive I-beam of Corten steel. WKSU’s  M.L. Schultze reports it was the installation of the first part of a $2.2 million public art project that celebrates Canton and the NFL.
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The first piece, called “Birth of the NFL,” is an abstract sculpture installed next to the spot where the owners of 10 teams met in 1920 and formed the NFL. It will be followed by 10 other public art works commemorating what the Pro Football Hall of Fame has selected as the key moments in the NFL’s history.

Max Deuble sits on the Arts in Stark committee that selected Denver artist Michael Clapper’s work in a national competition. Deuble maintains the sculpture hits a needed balance of art, sport and even as draw for tourists.

We didn’t want it to be too literal or too abstract, especially for the first one. So I think this one, when we were talking aobut it on the selection committee, we almost saw it not only as a football but also as a womb, with the letters on the  inside, that being the birth of the NFL.

The other projects are expected to be a mix of forms, including a mural commemorating the racial re-integration of pro football and multimedia projects involving video, lasers and other combinations.

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