|Opie Launches the Biggest Sports Art Project Ever
with the NABC, Fishbait Marketing and the NCAA
In the midst of this years NCAA Final Four games, it was announced that their 75th Anniversary next year will be marked and forever memorialized through an epic body of paintings by artist Opie Otterstad.
While fans filed into the Superdome on Saturday, the Final Four Coaches Club met for their annual banquet with Opie as a guest of honor. There, Rick Jones of the NABC (National Association Basketball Coaches), shared the plans for the biggest and most involved sports art project in history. The product of eight months of extensive planning, and negotiating between the NABC, Fishbait Marketing, NCAA, Limelight Agency and Opie Otterstad.
Photograph by Neil King of King Shots Photography
From the left: Coach Tom Izzo, Coach Jim Boeheim, Opie Otterstad, Coach Tubby Smith, Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Opie will paint a daunting seventy five story telling portraits. After all have been completed, they will be assembled as one single artistic installation, spanning a staggering thirty feet in length (nearly the width of a basketball court). Once shown at the 75th Final Four Celebration in Georgia, it will go on to become a fixture at the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City.
|Photgraph by Courtney Gardner
Coach Steve Fisher with Opie at the Final Four Coaches Club Dinner
Each of the paintings will represent a NCAA Mens Basketball championship year, and will be a portrait of that teams coach. To make each painting it's own special piece, Opie has begun the very involved process of meeting with each of the coaches individually to learn about them and their memories of the games they won. And in the cases of coaches who have since past, he will be meeting with those that were close to them and that part of history.
During the 2012/13 season as The NCAA counts down to their diamond anniversary, individual paintings from the series will be one by one unveiled at the schools who won the historic championships. These will be major celebrations in their own right, involving the school, the team, famous alumni and the coverage of local press.
Along with this, each painting will be created as fine art limited editions on canvas, as well as collectable posters. And all proceeds from the sales of the prints, posters and
the paintings themselves will go towards the NABC's Foundation's charity. A program that promotes literacy for school children. For Limelight and Opie, this was the key to what made such a daunting year and half project worth it above all else.
This project will mean a schedule of almost two paintings a weeks for close to a year. A year filled with traveling around the country visiting coaches, unveiling works at championship colleges, presenting at the 75th Final Four, and eventually unveiling at the Hall of fame.
|Photgraphy by Courtney Gardner
Opie Otterstad with his paintng of Coach Dean Smith of North Carolina The first of 75 paintings to come.
All we can say at Limelight, is they picked both the perfect and only artist for this undertaking.
Danny (no nails left to bite) Stern