Public Art Tour
Walk or Drive?
To walk the tour, start at #1. If you are driving, start at #17.
1 – The Birth sculpture by national artist Michael Clapper celebrates how the NFL was created in Canton, OH on September 17, 1920. The pre-rusted steel pedestal has laser-cut into it the names of the ten teams present. The stainless “seed pod,” is giving birth to the NFL. Its letters have been turned sideways and filled with 30 pieces of dichroic glass which was developed by NASA for satellite mirrors. (Part of The ELEVEN)
2 – Creation of the NFL is a banner mural by local artist Dirk Rozich. It depicts the historic 1920 meeting that established the NFL. Featured are Canton Bulldog owner Ralph Hay; super star athlete Jim Thorpe; and the player and coach George Halas who would soon own the Chicago Bears. (Part of Special Improvement District’s football series)
3 – Monday Night Football is a banner mural by local artist Jeffrey Keirn. It commemorates the phenomenal success of NFL games telecast during prime time on weeknights. This all began on September 21, 1970. That night the Cleveland Browns faced the New York Jets in the debut of ABC-TV’s Monday Night Football — and they won! (Part of The ELEVEN)
4 – The Reintegration banner mural is from a painting by national artist Paul Collins. There were a handful of great African American players in the early days, but from 1934 to 1946 pro football had none. That changed in 1946 when the Los Angeles Rams signed Woody Strode and Kenny Washington, and the Cleveland Browns hired Marion Motley and Bill Willis. (Part of The ELEVEN)
5 – Birds is a mural by national artist Rick Malt. It deals with natural landscapes and the characters that inhabit them, building from psychedelic backdrops to create other-worldly scenes. The artist explores themes of nature – life and death, growth and decay, strength and weakness. (Part of Canton Mural Initiative
6 – The Merger sculpture by national artist David Griggs captures in steel and granite that moment in 1966 when the AFL and NFL — after battling endlessly — decided to merge. The sculpture straddles the sidewalk as the two leagues reach out to become one. One side of the sculpture is the more traditional NFL, the other the upstart AFL. The sail shapes on top light up at night and change color. (Part of The ELEVEN)
7 – Jim Thorpe is a mural by local artist Joseph Close. Thorpe is remembered as one of the greatest athletes ever. He played for the Canton Bulldogs back in 1915. He went on to play for Cleveland, New York and Chicago, and was elected a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. (Part of Special Improvement District’s football series)
8 – The Hub Art Factory is both a studio space and an art gallery that has turned the outside of its building into a giant canvas of ever-changing paintings. Inside there are sculptors, painters, installation artists, and so much more. The artists at The Hub are constantly innovating their styles of artwork and taking creative risks.
9 – Canton vs Massillon is a mural by local artist Scot Philips. It commemorates the years of football rivalry by these two cities. It is based on a vintage photograph from 1905. Philips’ style is to create art out of many pixels or little dots that simulates a screen-printed photograph. (Part of Special Improvement District’s football series)
10 – Shattered Expressions is a sculpture by local artist Tommy Morgan. The artist is trying to capture the essential human expressions of joy, rage and sorrow. He is suggesting that, as human beings, we cannot have one of these emotions without having all the others. Joy comes from sorrow, sorrow goes into rage, and rage eventually turns back into joy
11 – Giraffe is a sculpture by local artist Patrick Buckohr that is part of a series of animal figures called “Critters” that he and artist Joseph Close created. All the steel in it comes from recycled materials. The sculpture was meant to be a fun piece that families would love, and that kids could climb on. And that’s exactly what has happened.
12 – The Draft sculpture by national artist Gail Folwell celebrates NFL Commissioner Bert Bell’s idea in 1936 of teams selecting college players by inverse order based on how they finished the prior season. The five bronze figures feature a man in a suit hiking the ball. That man is Bert Bell, owner and founder of the Philadelphia Eagles and later NFL Commissioner. (Part of The ELEVEN)
13 – Polypus is a banner mural with sculptural legs by local artist Tommy Morgan. People refer to it as the “giant octopus.” First the artist created the painting and then it was transformed into a giant banner. The legs of the creature are made out of foam with metal inserts. This is one of the public artworks that has definitely changed the landscape of downtown forever.
14 – Red Grange is a banner mural with sculptural elements by local artist Heather Bullach. It tells the story of pro football’s first big gate attraction. In 1925, pro football was played in the shadow of pro baseball and college football. That all changes forever when Chicago signed Harold “Red” Grange, the nation’s most heralded college star, to a pro contract. Ten days later 70,000 people came to watch
“The Galloping Ghost” play. (Part of The ELEVEN)
15 – Splash is a mural by national artist Ruben Aguirre. His work is an intersection of abstract graffiti and design that takes influence from textiles and nature. He re-imagines public space, while investigating pattern, texture, and color through the use of the spray can. (Part of Canton Mural Initiative)
16 – Morning Breeze is a painted aluminum sculpture by national artist Jerry Peart. His work suggests movement. Peart’s forms often seem to refer to roller coasters, human figures elaborately garbed, spinning in dance, comet trails, banner’s lifting and spiraling in the wind.
17 – Super Bowl III is a mural by local artist Dirk Rozich. It celebrates the moment in 1968 when Joe Namath, star quarterback of the AFL’s New York Jets, predicted victory over the NFL’s heavily favored Baltimore Colts. Then, in one of the greatest upsets in sports history — he did exactly that. The final score was 16 – 7. (Part of The ELEVEN)