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

Winner 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

In her author's note, Sandra Neil Wallace writes that "art has the capacity to change people's points of view." Throughout her picturebook biography of 20th century Neo-Mannerism painter and National Football League (NFL) player Ernie Barnes, readers can bear witness to the ways in which art provides Barnes with new perspectives, and the ways in which Barnes creates new perspectives for others through his art. Barnes is grounded in art in his childhood, literally learning to paint with mud and sticks before graduating to a sketchbook. Using the Civil Rights Movement as a backdrop, Wallace skillfully reveals the power of desegregation in Barnes's life, starting when he first gains access to art museums as a college student. Despite the acclaim Barnes receives for his abilities as an offensive lineman, including multiple college scholarships and an early career in the NFL, he leaves professional football in order to paint. …

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