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Dallas Cowboys Announce Art Program for New Stadium
Doug Aitken, Star (2008). Neon lit lightbox, 45 by 119 by 10 inches. Edition of 4. Image courtesy the Artist and 303 Gallery, New York.

ARLINGTON, TX. Dallas Cowboys owners Gene and Jerry Jones, along with their family, today announced the Dallas Cowboys Art Program, an ongoing initiative to commission contemporary artists to create monumental, site-specific installations for the recently completed Cowboys Stadium. The program launches with 14 commissioned artworks, which will be installed in prominent locations throughout the Stadium. Franz Ackermann, Annette Lawrence, and Olafur Eliasson are among those who have created new work for the program.

The commissions will be installed in locations with the highest pedestrian traffic, including four of the principal entries, the two monumental staircases and two pedestrian ramps that connect the seating decks (22-by-70 feet and 39-by-32 feet), and on huge walls above the main concourse concessions areas (15-by-114 feet). A number of the commissions wrap around stadium walls. Others are located in entryways and will be visible to fans seated in the stadium. Artists have already begun working with construction crews to install their works, most of which will be in place for the first regular-season game on September 20, 2009, against the New York Giants.

The Dallas Cowboys Art Program was conceived, launched, and funded by Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and his wife Gene. Their daughter, Charlotte Anderson, and niece, Melissa Meeks, have also played prominent roles in the project. An Art Council of noted curators and collectors is serving as an advisory committee to evaluate and recommend artists and their works. Its members include: Michael Auping, Chief Curator, the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth; Charlie Wylie, Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art, the Dallas Museum of Art; and Texas-based collectors Howard Rachofsky and Gayle Stoffel. Mary Zlot of the art advisory firm Mary Zlot & Associates is providing counsel on the program.

Other artists creating site-specific commissions are: Ricci Albenda, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Teresita Fernandez, Terry Haggerty, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jim Isermann, Dave Muller, Matthew Ritchie, Gary Simmons, and Lawrence Weiner. The Art Program also encompasses acquisitions of work for existing sites by Doug Aitken, Wayne Gonzales, Jacqueline Humphries, and a second work by Eliasson.

“From top to bottom, we’re taking a whole new approach to what a national sports arena can be,” said Jerry Jones, owner and general manager, Dallas Cowboys. “Cowboys Stadium isn’t just a place to go and see a game or a concert, it’s an experience you share with your family and your community. That will include things that a lot of people wouldn’t anticipate seeing at a stadium—like contemporary art. Football is full of the unexpected and the spontaneous—it can make two strangers into friends. Art has the power to do that too, to get people talking, and looking, and interacting. It’s not just about what you see on the field or on the wall, it’s about creating exciting experiences.”

“We’re breathing new life into a tradition that extends back to the Greeks and Romans, who integrated the art of their time in stadiums where the best athletes gathered to compete,” said Gene Jones, wife of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. “The Art Program at Cowboys Stadium brings this dialogue between art and sport into the modern day. We’re making it possible for some of the world’s leading contemporary artists to create work on a scale unimaginable anywhere else and we’re connecting new audiences with their work.”

As part of the Art Program at the stadium, the Cowboys are creating an art education program, which includes art tours as well as educational initiatives for all members of the community.

Cowboys Stadium
Owned by the City of Arlington and developed by the Jones Family, Cowboys Stadium is the largest, most technologically advanced entertainment venue in the world. Features of the stadium include seating for 80,000 (expandable to 100,000), 300 luxury suites, club seating on multiple levels, and the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop.

Designed by HKS Sports and Entertainment Group and built by Manhattan Construction, the $1.15 billion stadium features two monumental arches, the world’s largest HDTV video board, an expansive retractable roof and the largest retractable end-zone doors in the world.

The stadium’s design will also enable it to function as a community resource and civic meeting point, with the exterior and end-zone plazas serving as key gathering and entertainment spaces. Unique among NFL stadiums, these broad boulevards will offer a combination of permanent hardscape and green spaces to accentuate game-day celebrations and year-round activities

In addition to being the new home of the Dallas Cowboys, the stadium will host the 2011 Super Bowl, the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, and the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball Final Four as well as concerts, special events, and high school and college football games.

Dallas Cowboys | Mel Bochner | Olafur Eliasson | Teresita Fernandez | Matthew Ritchie | Lawrence Weiner  |

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