The University of Nebraska will commemorate its 300th consecutive football sellout at Memorial Stadium with a 22x28 ft.-themed mural designed by renowned artist Mike Sullivan.
According to Paul Whitehill of Images In Tile, a leading tile mural manufacturer based in Joplin, Mo., the mural in the North Stadium lobby of the Tom and Nancy Osborne Athletic Complex will be "the single largest ceramic tile mural that has ever been created in North America".
The mural embodies the Cornhuskers' legendary football past and will be unveiled on Thursday, Sept. 24th, as part of a special set of installations at large colleges and universities across the country.
The mural has 616 12"x12" mosaic tiles and depicts a sold-out Memorial Stadium with football players celebrating while red balloons take flight to signal Nebraska's first touchdown of the game.
The concept for the mural was a collaborative effort among Osborne, Nebraska's former head coach and current athletic director, University officials and Sullivan. All had insight into the creation of the mural, which has been incorporated into the newly designed North Stadium lobby to attract fans and to appeal to recruits.
"We know how important first impressions are for recruits, and we believe the Mike Sullivan mural will be a focal point that emphasizes our tradition for recruits and their parents when they first walk in the door," Osborne said. "It's kind of a warm way to welcome everyone, and we think it complements all of our other new displays of Husker history and memorabilia."
Sullivan agrees. "Watching Nebraska football over the years has really shown me the passion and the power of the Huskers and their fans," he said. "Seeing the Tunnel Walk and the sea of red in the crowd is an amazing visual image and creates a statement of what Nebraska football is all about."
Sullivan said his goal was to create a mural that would capture that unique spirit of Husker football and give a person the sense of the history, pride and accomplishments of an elite program that has unequalled loyalty and fan support.
From an early age, Sullivan has shown a penchant for drawing and painting. His artwork has raised money for many charities and foundations, including The Magic Johnson Foundation and The Pat Tillman Foundation.
Sullivan's work continues to grow as he focuses on the human figure in sports and play, as well as other subjects created in his unique "chiseled" style of painting. Collectors of his work include Karl Malone, Ben Roethlisberger, Leigh Steinberg, John Salley, Carson Palmer, Jake Plummer, Tim Brown, Stephen Jones and many other athletes, corporations and art collectors.
Sullivan's art is displayed as part of a series of murals in such places as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the University of Texas and Arizona State University.