Fashion and football have become frequent bedfellows and the latest pairing in Atlanta is between the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Atlanta Falcons.
SCAD will commission, acquire and install artwork and memorabilia throughout the two million square feet of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home of the Atlanta Falcons.
Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC, both of which will play its games in the stadium, said in a statement they were “delighted to partner with one of our ‘own’ in finishing out the interior and exterior of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.” The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
SCAD's three-person in-house team has already begun to source works of art from a wide variety of local, national and international artists, said John Paul Rowan, SCAD's VP for Strategy and Innovation.
"While we want Atlanta and the community to be a source of inspiration, we will look globally for artists," he said. "We are already receiving proposals from artists around the world that are very excited about this project."
The search will also include SCAD's extensive alumni and staff network and they will seek to put their own SCAD stamp on Mercedes-Benz Stadium while also enhancing the fan experience and the stadium's design aesthetics.
"We will be looking for things with lots of energy and vitality," Rowan said. "We are looking to put our own hip, colorful, vibrant flair to our spaces, that is something that resonated with the stadium developers. We want to make sure we take that to this space as well."
The SCAD team has been poring over stadium blueprints to find the best ways to incorporate design elements into the space, Rowan said. Fans can expect to see everything from sculpture to photography to large-scale art installations on display when the new stadium opens in 2017.
Rowan said SCAD hopes this will be a starting off point for other collaborations with hotels, office buildings, or anyone looking for unique or interesting artwork for which SCAD can serve as a resource. The SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah has an extensive collection of artwork and serves as an important resource for reaching artists, he said.
This isn't the first time SCAD has crossed paths with pigskin. SCAD students collaborated with Fox Sports to come up with the intro sequence for Superbowl XLVIII. Here's a quick video about how they did it:
The collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Stadium is not a student project, but students are welcome to submit their work and it will be evaluated on the same criteria as work sourced from international and well-known artists, said Rowan.
Designed as a multi-purpose venue with flexible capacity, a retractable roof and a 360-degree HD video halo board -- the largest in the NFL -- the Mercedes-Benz stadium is expected to be cutting edge.
"SCAD is very excited about being granted the opportunity to take on such a large project with such high visibility in our own backyard," Rowan said. "We can’t wait to see what happens."