Pittsburgh artist's football-created works will be on display at Super Bowl
Tom Mosser buys his art supplies at Dick's Sporting Goods.
Footballs, soccer balls, basketballs and golf balls ... Mosser takes them and creates amazing artwork.
The Pittsburgh-based painter calls this style of painting, with balls or found objects, Tom Mosser Design.
It's fitting that pieces of his sports-inspired collection will be on display at the National Football League's Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Tom Mosser, an artist from Pittsburgh's East End, with a studio in Etna was commissioned by Sports & The Arts, a company which curates large-scale art collections, to create 41 pieces that capture the history of the Minnesota Vikings to be displayed at the team's stadium, host of Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4.
"To see my crazy idea of painting with footballs endorsed by the NFL through the Minnesota Vikings and on display at the Super Bowl is so gratifying," Mosser says. To create the pieces with a sports ball, Mosser has to deflate the ball a little so it's easier to manipulate and roll.
"I love what I do," he says. "It's like a hobby, but I am doing it for work."
Mosser will showcase 41 pieces at various locations throughout the venue that capture the history of the Minnesota Vikings. The works are a mix of abstract art and representational art. Mosser created 26 renditions of Topps football cards — 24-by-38-inch mixed media pieces on watercolor paper — along with nine Tom Mosser Design pieces created using footballs, three pen and ink color wash renditions, one large oil painting called "Opening Day Touchdown," one large acrylic on canvas retro ship logo painting, and a 3-foot-by-4-foot ambidextrous Impressionism work painted live at the "Taste of the Vikings" event.
This isn't the first connection between his art and a professional sports venue. He has been doing this kind of work since 2007 at Amway Center in Orlando, the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., Levi's Stadium near San Franciso and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
His work also has been featured at Levi's Stadium, where the San Francisco 49ers play.
The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., is home to an original Tom Mosser Design.
The pieces come to life in his Etna studio under the close watch of his best friend Lucas, a 7-year-old golden retriever, who is by the painter's side every day.
Mosser, who lives in Pittsburgh's East End, was discovered for the stadium work after a friend, Ben Bouma, gave Mosser's business card to Tracie Speca-Ventura. She owns California-based Sports & The Arts, a company that brings an fine art to some of the most recognizable sports venues in the world. She curates these stadium shows.
"Tom is our go-to guy," Speca-Ventura says. "There are so many variations of his work. He does his research and really goes the extra mile. His work is unbelievably unique and well done. It is innovative and textural."
Mosser hired Pittsburgh-based artists — Emily Wheeler, Kim Barry, Bethany Kaiser, Dominique Seneca and Andrea Echavarria — to help with the Topps card renditions for the Minnesota venue.
He says creating sports-inspired art combines his two loves. He's long been a fan of the Green Bay Packers and sketched images of the team as a 7-year-old. So it was extra special to design pieces for Lambeau Field.
"Everyone loves a winner, so I was no different," Mosser says. "When I was little, the Packers were really good, and they had great storylines, from (Hall of Fame coach Vince) Lombardi, to being in the first two Super Bowls. I love their classic uniforms, too, which they pretty much have today. The Steelers and the Packers have the same piping on their sleeves. Both teams have essentially the same uniform design from those days. Both are classic."
He sees his work as art, but also as telling a story.
"Public art is great because lots of people will walk by it," Mosser says. "It is nice to get eyes on the art you create. I have had friends send me selfies in front of my art from one of the stadiums. It's amazing how all of this came down to a business card."
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.