Playing host for the 2018 Super Bowl put Minnesota in an international spotlight. People from around the world visited the Twin Towns for the big game, and hundreds of millions saw glimpses of it on television.

While all eyes will be on the game – and a slew of spectacles unfolding on both sides of the river – those lucky enough to score a ticket to the Super Bowl will also have a front-row seat to an impressive art collection. US Bank Stadium, the site of the game, is home to hundreds of original artworks created by dozens of artists, many of them from Minnesota.

Tanya Dreesen, the Minnesota Vikings’ Vice President of Partnerships Activation & Special Projects, manages the art collection for the team. “Our owners and executive team are all very proud art owners and art enthusiasts. Our ownership wanted to find a way to thank the great state of Minnesota for its support of the Vikings and the stadium, and felt that an art collection would be the perfect gift,” she said.  “The art collection allows us to show the depth of talent that we have here in Minnesota. Some people don’t realize how robust our art community is. And it allows us to showcase local artists on this spectacular stage.”

To commission the collection, the Vikings worked with Sports and the Arts, a national organization focused on incorporating art into sporting venues. An unprecedented number of artists submitted work to be considered for the project. Over the course of two years, Sports and the Arts and the Vikings curated the collection, which includes nearly 400 works of original art.

Unique to the US Bank collection is work by former NFL players. “We were able to engage with three former Viking players, among them, two Pro Football Hall of Famers. These alumni created a variety of pieces, including ceramics, photography, and oil-on-canvas artworks. This installation provided a level of engagement that is not often found in general art collections as it touches not only the visual aesthetic, but also the collective memory of the fan,” said Tracie Speca-Ventura, founder of Sports and the Arts. “We found working with the alumni to be most rewarding as we believe that they had not only been part of the fantastic Vikings past, but now have a place in the future of the team as well. Their pieces capture a place and a time—when they were champions—that everyone loves to revisit.”

Former Vikings Coach Bud Grant is also featured in the collection. He collaborated on a series of paintings with artist Les Kouba, which celebrate their shared love of wildlife and the outdoors.

For more information about the Vikings art collection, including a look at all of the artists featured in the stadium, click here.

Minnesota Music: Pennyroyal
Production Team: Amy Melin, Ryan Klabunde
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This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.