Academic journal article Language Arts

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

Academic journal article Language Arts

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

Article excerpt

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery Written by Sandra Neil Wallace Illustrated by Bryan Collier Simon & Schuster, 2018, unpaged, ISBN 978-1-4814-4387-6

On rainy days as a little boy, Ernie Barnes would draw in the mud with a stick. When he "grew too old to mud paint, he carried a sketchbook." Despite his passion for art, Barnes had other talents, and by high school, he was reluctantly recruited for the football team. His prowess as an offensive lineman garnered 26 college scholarships. While football paid for college, Barnes's passion for art remained. As an art major at an all-Black university in the segregated South, Barnes saw inspiration for his art all around him, including in his neighborhood and on the football field, where "in the swivel and swerves of game action, he saw beauty." Wallace details Barnes's rise to the major leagues, and his internal battle between his desire to make art and his need for the financial stability offered by pro football. …

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