Specially created Packers artwork changes look of Lambeau Field
GREEN BAY - It might take Packers fans longer to get to their seats this year. The suite and club levels of Lambeau Field now are adorned with more than 500 works of art commemorating one of the NFL's oldest franchises.
The artwork, curated by specialty company Sports & The Arts, includes oil and acrylic paintings, textile works, prints, drawings, photographs and more in as many styles.
"The first time I walked through some of the areas and saw the artwork, it took my breath away," said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy. "There are so many different things. It allows us to celebrate our history and tradition in a different way."
Sports & The Arts spent two years compiling the collection, working with 19 artists and photo collections from the Packers, the Green Bay Press-Gazette and other sources.
Nine of the artists have Wisconsin connections, including Leslie Etters of Green Bay, Dan Gerhartz of Kewaskum and Charly Palmer of Milwaukee.
Palmer created portraits of former Packers running back John Brockington and linebacker Ray Nitschke. He was thrilled to be asked to do a portrait of Brockington, one of his childhood heroes.
"They said, this is the subject matter, do it in your style," he said. "I loved the freedom and to get to do one of my favorite subjects."
Gerhartz, another Packers fan, produced a painting of Lombardi hoisted on the shoulders of his players after a victory. It is one of the first pieces fans will see when getting off the elevators on the fourth floor of the Lambeau Field Atrium.
"I got an email asking if I wanted to do a painting of the Packers. It was kind of a no-brainer," he said. "I saw this image and loved it."
Many photos are from the Press-Gazette archives. Joan Malcheski, Packers director of brand & marketing, said they combed through more than 10,000 negatives to select 350 images for display at Lambeau Field.
"I've been working with the Packers 10 years now and there are pictures I've never seen before," Murphy said. "We have a great history of working with the Press-Gazette."
Included in the collection is art by three winners of the Packers Student Art Contest. The contest theme was “Your Packers Gameday,” which asked students to share an artistic representation of what game day means to them. Each student won a $5,000 donation for their school’s art program.
The winners were Amy Bates of Poplar in grades 6-8; Vanessa Foulke of Lowville, N.Y., in grades 9-12; and Taylor Oestreich of Slinger in the university or technical college group.
The contest will be held annually.
The artwork is displayed on the suite and club levels of Lambeau Field, which means it is not available to other fans on a regular basis. Some of the work will be seen by fans as part of stadium tours. The Packers said they are considering whether to have tours that focus on the art as well.