The Eleven

Greatest Moments in Pro Football History

Background: The ELEVEN is a $2.2 million public art project of ArtsinStark and The Pro Football Hall of Fame celebrating the greatest moments in professional football history.  The eleven monumental pieces of public art (sculptures, murals, multi-media arts) will be located within walking distance of one another in downtown Canton.  The first three moments will be sculpture, then will come murals and multi-media art.  The goal: to have all eleven moments completed by 2020 for the 100th anniversary of the NFL. 



The AFL/NFL Merger, 1966
Artist: David Griggs, Denver, CO

This abstract steel and granite sculpture is about becoming greater than the sum of the parts. In the 1960s, the two leagues battled endlessly.  This sculpture straddles the sidewalk as the two sides reach out to become one.  The artist is asking the public to guess which side represents the upstart American Football League and which the more established National Football League. 

Artist David Griggs from Denver, CO is creating “The AFL/NFL Merger” – 1966 sculpture. Griggs has created over 45 commissioned works of art in the United States and Canada.  Recent commissions include projects for Albuquerque, Anchorage, Boulder, Chicago, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Hope, Jacksonville, Madison, Santa Fe, Toronto, and Washington.


The Sponsors: Deuble Foundation, Hoover Foundation, Stark Community Foundation, Timken Foundation. 


In-Kind Supporters: Hilscher-Clarke Electric, Rice’s Landscapes Redefined  The Vasco Group.

The ELEVEN is a $2.2 million multi-year project of ArtsinStark and The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio celebrating the greatest moments in professional football history, as determined in the book, Where Greatness Lives.  A national invitation, to create the first piece in the series, was extended to professional artists, living in the United States, who had credentials and ideas for creating a public art project for $150,000 to celebrate the Birth of the NFL. THe winner was Michael Clapper of Colorado. The second moment, The NFL Draft, 1936 was created by sculptor Gail Folwell. 

Paul Collins has been awarded the commission to create the painting “The Reintegration of Pro Football, 1946.” ArtsinStark received 116 applications from artists in 33 different states. A selection jury ranked the finalists to determine the winning entry. Mr. Collins created the 30-painting series “Other Voices- A Native American Tableau” which opened in New York and then went to Paris. Collins was commissioned by the Amway Japan Corporation to create paintings on the customs of the Japanese people. His “Voices of Israel” exhibit of 25 paintings on the history of Israel has toured all over the U.S. He was one of 23 painters commissioned by Anheuser Busch to create works celebrating African leaders, which led to him being featured in a TV commercial commemorating the original airing of “Roots.” He is the first African-American artist to paint the portrait of a sitting President of the United States. Collins designed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize Medal, and has won the Tadlow Fine Art Award, and the People’s Choice Award in Paris. Watson and Guptill Publications voted him as one of the top 20 painters in America. The ELEVEN project in Canton, OH is being sponsored by ArtsinStark and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.



Where will The ELEVEN be located?

The idea of The ELEVEN is to embrace the fact that Canton, Ohio is a football city.  But, it's also evolving into an arts city, as evidence by the thriving and ever-expanding Canton Arts District.  Designed to be a future tourist attraction to football afficiandos as well as those who don't know (or care) about the difference between a pigskin and a paintbrush, The ELEVEN monumental pieces of public art will be within walking distance, between one another, in downtown Canton, Ohio.   The following map is a concept of where the ten remaining pieces may eventually be placed

"The door is open for every kind of art and every style. 
There are no parameters." 

Robb Hankins, CEO of ArtsinStark




Do you agree?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has determined, the following to be the 11 greatest moments in professional football history.

  1. Formation/ "Birth" of the NFL (1920)
  2. 1958 Championship Game
  3. Formation American Football League (1959)
  4. Pete Rozelle Named Commissioner (1960)
  5. Red Grange Turns Pro (1925)
  6. The NFL Draft (1936)
  7. Reintegration of Pro Football (1946)
  8. Monday Night Football (1970)
  9. Super Bowl III (1968)
  10. The Ice Bowl (1967)
  11. AFL/NFL Merger (1966)

How was the Site Chosen
for the First Piece of Art?

The NFL was created in Canton on Sept 17, 1920 in the showroom of Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile dealership in a building where the Frank T. Bow Building sits today, on the corner of Cleveland Avenue SW and Third Street. 



 In the NEWS

Clapper gets the Commission
Interview with NPR
Charita Goshay's editorial
Stunning Homage to NFL
Dan Kane's take

Interview with WAKR 



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