A Guest Blog by Sharron Hunt, Chairwoman – Kansas City Chiefs Art Program
When we began the process of assembling the Arrowhead Art Collection in June of 2012, we literally started from scratch. From inception, our goal and mission steered us towards the creation of a regional art collection coupled with a robust arts education component. We had no idea that we would proudly proclaim that in 2015, so far, we’ve had over 10,000 students tour our collection and benefit from our curriculum. We’re thrilled to be a part of the rich arts’ tapestry of Kansas City and the region.
The creation and assemblage of the Arrowhead Art Collection involved many, many individuals. From our stadium maintenance and stadium operations crew, to our Art Council, to our artists, to arts and educational consultants, even the purveyors of the materials that the artists used, and ultimately to you, the viewer, a collective effort lies behind each and every piece of artwork. In football terms, it was and is a team effort. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist just one football analogy).
In creating their fabulous pieces for our collection, our artists started from scratch. Some started with a blank canvas, some with an idea or an inspiration. A story develops, a vision emerges, and a piece of beauty results. From scratch. While each individual piece of art tells its own story, our collection, as a whole, weaves a rich narrative, dialogue, and picture of our region. Art contains lessons not only in beauty, perspective, and creativity but also in geography, culture, history, and politics. Arts are us, are our culture, are who we are, and reflect who we were.
And then we have the story behind the story, the inspiration behind the artwork, and the people behind the art. I’ll mention just a few of our Arrowhead artist family here. Elliot Norquist, used to ride his horse where now sits Arrowhead Stadium! Sculptor Beth Nybeck drew inspiration from water; Artists Phil Epp and Anne Lindbergh found solace, grandeur, and subject matter in the Flint Hills. Nedra Bonds quilts together stories from her proud legacy. A seed is planted, an idea takes hold, an artwork results. From scratch.
ArtsKC, in helping artists start from scratch, plays a vital role in knitting together many layers of the arts community in Kansas City. The financial support, recognition, and networking that ArtsKC provides to younger and less-visible artists impacts our community in re-affirming that message of validation, accessibility, inclusiveness, and community.
The Chiefs were proud to support this crucial work by designating ArtsKC as the recipient of a Hunt Family Foundation 50/50 raffle in 2014 and also through support of the annual ArtsKC annual luncheon. We hope to see you all at the November 11 ArtsKC Encounter event at Arrowhead Stadium where you will see, firsthand, what can be accomplished from scratch with a little collaboration, innovation and creativity.