Sports

Central Coast company creates art collection at Super Bowl stadium

Nipomo-based Sports & The Arts curated art project

Central Coast company creates art...

NIPOMO, Calif. - When U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis hosts Super Bowl LII on Sunday, a Nipomo woman will watch the game with added interest.

Tracie Speca-Ventura, founder and CEO of Sports & The Arts, was the art curator who brought the walls during construction to life.

"It was an amazing project to work on because the locals and the people there were really fun," said Speca-Ventura. "We appreciate that they trust in us to come and do the storytelling. It's about creating these experiences and moments in these buildings."

Along with her sister-in-law Camille Speca, who is based in Rhode Island, Speca-Ventura commissioned more than 100 artists to create the exclusive collection.

"It's definitely a celebration of Minnesota,'" said Speca-Ventura. "We have artwork, photography, wall graphics, sculpture. We really ran the gamut."

The project at the stadium that opened in July 2016 included nearly 400 original works of art, 250 photographs and two large-scale murals.

The artwork naturally features the home team Minnesota Vikings prominently. It also includes a vast array of other pieces related to the state's historic, geographic and cultural identity and heritage.

"We wanted to play on the cold," said Speca-Ventura. "We wanted to play on the seasons. They really celebrate the seasons, so we did a lot of regional artwork on this collection to celebrate what they hold dear to them."

Another important feature to the stadium is a section on the area's rich musical history.

"We did a whole section on the music of Minnesota," Speca-Ventura said. "You have Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, you have Prince. Those are the three we really celebrated in paintings."

Speca-Ventura said the company was working with Prince to create an entry piece to be called "Purple Reign." However, the pop icon died during the project. Afterwards, another artist was brought to create a piece that pays homage to the Minneapolis native.

A quick look at the artwork and it's easy to see a common theme. The Vikings famous color purple is everywhere.

"It was really fun, especially to add some color into the art," said Speca-Ventura. "Then you tie in the Purple People Eaters and you tie in the dynamic on that."

This marks the second time in three years Sports & The Arts has curated a Super Bowl stadium. Two years ago, Speca-Ventura and her team worked on Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, which hosted Super Bowl 50.

Other projects she has completed includes the new Yankees Stadium, Marlins Park in Miami, Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Amway Center in Orlando and Green Bay's iconic Lambeau Field.

With several stadiums under construction, Speca-Ventura is hoping to add more to her portfolio, perhaps the Rams and Chargers new Los Angeles stadium in Inglewood, Raiders new venue in Las Vegas and the Warriors' Chase Center in San Francisco.

She's also trying to secure soccer projects overseas.

"Keep your eyes out," said Speca-Ventura. "Hopefully, we'll be in the U.K. and we're going global."

As she gets ready to cheer on her hometown Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, Speca-Ventura can watch the game and smile knowing she's left an imprint on the stadium that will be seen by thousands of spectators at the game and by millions of people watching on television around the world.

"We have so many people going through these walls looking at the unexpected and we did that," said Speca-Ventura. "We got it right. We know we made our mark. We started it. We created it."


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