New 49ers Arena Goes for Touchdown with Huge Art Collection

Citrix Owners Suite, "Levis Stadium” artist Stanley Silver. Photo: Courtesy Sports & the Arts, Greg Zabilski

Following the introduction of two new art fairs, the latest effort to make Silicon Valley something of an arts destination involves a mix of art and sports as the San Francisco 49ers recently unveiled their own art collection at Levi’s® Stadium. It includes 200 original pieces as well as 500 photographs that were found in shoe boxes and filing cabinets and have not been seen for more than five decades, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.

The article compares the 49ers collection with that of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s. His decidedly more flashy collection includes works by such sought-after artists as Daniel Buren and Anish Kapoor, and attracts year-round visitors who pay $22 for a guided tour.

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Citrix Owners Club, Polyreflective (in foreground) June Li, Grinder (football player) John Robertson.
Photo: Courtesy of the Art Collection at Levi’s® Stadium.

The 49ers collection is “softer and more subtle,” says Bee reporter Matt Barrows. He cites “gorgeous black-and-white photos” of Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Bill Walsh, as well as commissioned artwork, mostly by local artists and ranging in subject matter from a surf series about Mavericks to John Steinbeck to the Summer of Love (see the artnet News report).

Tracie Speca-Ventura, founder of Sports & the Arts, who curated the collection, said it features local artists and notes that “this unique opportunity allows them to embrace what California means to them. While celebrating football past and present, the walls also share the stage for series of art celebrating the Bay Area surf scene, agriculture, wineries, poets and writers and the psychedelic music of the ’60s and ’70s.”

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PA level, Liz Walsh (daughter of former 49ers coach Bill Walsh) Candlestick at Night, The Catch, Going Beyond.
Photo: Courtesy of the Art Collection at Levi’s® Stadium.

“We wanted to enhance the game day experience for our fans on every level while also celebrating the Bay Area, and thought art was an interesting and unique way to achieve that goal,” said Ali Towle, 49ers vice president of marketing.


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