Brush with round leather worlds | Football arts in the American South

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Decatur, Georgia | Rare is the time when we can write from our own town about cultural happenings related to football. But the World Cup arts program has seeped into even this sweltering corner of the all-encompassing FIFA universe.

The Vinson Gallery on 8 June inaugurated a showing of the 14 official art posters commissioned for the finals. Except for the efforts of Hisashi Tenmyouya (Japan) and Owusu-Ankomah (Ghana), we found the results somewhat forced—perhaps a problem when artists respond to a commission rather than directly from inspiration. We were most surprised by the new creation (below) from local artist Ruth Franklin, who is English. Gallery owner Shawn Vinson, shirted in England replica colors, said he had suggested on a stop by Franklin’s studio that she add a football to her composition. Such is the birthing of the football arts, at least in a Southern state.

Link to Vinson Gallery
The new Ruth Franklin creation, unexpected but welcome.

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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  1. [...] I couldn’t locate one nearby but unfortunately, I chanced upon an exhibition at Decatur, GA. I have fond memories of the place where I spent many evenings either studying or just whiling away time. The art district of Decatur might be a weird place for soccer art but it sure is getting in the act by remixing one of the local art pieces by adding a ball to a local artist’s painting. “Gallery owner Shawn Vinson, shirted in England replica colors, said he had suggested on a stop by Franklin’s studio that she add a football to her composition” [source]. this is unprecedented in an otherwise football (American)-crazy southern state. Quickly Bookmark “The Art of Football”‘ at:                              Listen to this post [...]

  2. [...] Franklin is a studio artist represented by Decatur’s Vinson Gallery. Her work has featured previously in this space (see 10 Jun 06). [...]

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