The Minnesota Vikings are commissioning former standout players Matt Blair and Jim Marshall to join Carl Eller as contributors to the artwork at the new U.S. Bank Stadium.
Marshall played 17 years with the Vikings during their glory days of the late 1960s and ’70s and referred to himself as the Silver Eagle, drawing an eagle on his playing gear. His idea for that came from research on the medieval Vikings of Scandinavia, in which he discovered Odin’s raven, which flew high on the flags of Viking longships and became a symbol of power during the centuries of Viking conquests. He tailored that symbol to his own thinking and began putting the eagle on his training camp bibs, gloves and pants. His Silver Eagle will be recreated for artwork inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Blair, the former Pro Bowl linebacker, has long had an interest in photography, taking behind-the-scenes photos of from his playing days and continuing his photographic interests after his career.
Eller’s artwork was previously commissioned for the new stadium as one of 34 local artists announced last fall, but the inclusion of Blair and Marshall brings the local artist contributions to 36. Eller has a passion for ceramic artwork. He will be creating a personal piece for U.S. Bank Stadium, paying homage to the Land of 10,000 Lakes by “drawing inspiration from his many years of fishing and spending summers on the lake,” according to the Vikings.
“We are incredibly proud to honor these three men who played a significant role on the field for the
Vikings and have maintained a deep connection to the organization following their successful
football careers,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. “Their inclusion in the U.S.
Bank Stadium art collection recognizes their artistic skills and emphasizes our commitment to
showcasing and celebrating the history of the Vikings and the State of Minnesota.”
Through the partnership with Sports & The Arts, the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority have now selected 44 total artists that will encompass more than 500 original artworks and showcase not only the Vikings, but also Minnesota sports and other regional history.