Artist uses old sports materials for collages
Sports bars and theme restaurants often display scores of sports items. But tucked away in a pizza place in little Mt. Zion, Ill., are two works of art that go beyond the typical pub decor.
Called "Pitchers" and "Shots," this pair of collages was created by mixed media artist and Mt. Zion native Cindy Lewis for Coz's Pizza and Pub.
And although the setting might seem quaint, the projects were anything but. Made simultaneously, each 32-inch-by-48-inch piece was created using discarded sports memorabilia -- baseball gloves for "Pitchers" and hockey sticks for "Shots" -- and took almost a half-year to complete.
Playbook caught up with Lewis over email to talk about these projects, from inception to construction to finished product.
"Pitchers" -- leather baseball gloves on plywood
How did the collages start?
I was working on the interior decor of [Coz's] using a sports theme. I wanted a vintage feel, rather than an exclusively professional sports feel. I gravitate toward collage and using "found" items in my artwork, so I started messing around with old sports equipment. Most people have an old ball glove laying around that reminds them of their youth, and the hockey came from years of taking my son to practice and his continued love of the game.
What went into it, in terms of materials and time?
I would guess [I used] at least 40 ball gloves. The gloves came from yard sales, friends, junk stores, resell sports stores and flea markets.
From concept to finish [it took] probably about five months. I spent a lot of time hunting materials. I bugged all of my "hockey mom" friends for broken sticks. Even got some discarded practice sticks from the Bloomington Blaze hockey team [a nearby minor league team].
Doing them at the same time -- how did that work?
When my hands got too sore from cutting the leather, I worked on the hockey sticks. I marked all the cuts on the sticks and "subcontracted" the cutting to my husband -- I'm scared of power tools!
So what's next -- any other sports-themed projects in mind?
I want to try some much smaller pieces with the same materials -- I think they would make cool gifts for kids' rooms or home bars. It would be fun to make small, personalized hockey ones, using just one personal favorite stick that broke or was outgrown.
I'm not planning any more collage pieces of this scale right now, but ... I have poster-size prints in the works for the ball gloves and the sticks.
"Shots" -- hockey sticks on plywood
Collage photos by Kaitlin Powell.