Cowboys and Pepsi donate $5,000 to art program
Football and art go together.
At least that’s what Dallas Cowboys legend DeMarcus Ware said. And he proved it Wednesday when he showed up to the Arlington ISD’s Dr. Marcelo Cavazos Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
He walked into the Art IV class and surprised all 32 of the stunned students with two tickets each to the Nov. 30 Dallas Cowboys game. He also delivered a $5,000 check from the Dallas Cowboys and Pepsi for the art program.
The Nov. 30 game against the Seattle Seahawks is where Ware will receive his NFL Hall of Fame ring.
It’s also where an original piece of art – currently being created by the Art IV class – will be revealed. The class includes 32 seniors from across the district who have been collaborating on the project designed to celebrate Ware’s legacy.
Pepsi commissioned the art as part of its Trash Talk campaign that encourages people to recycle. Pepsi also gifted all of the art students backpacks made of upcycled materials.
The unique art is made completely of repurposed materials. It includes parts from old furniture, foam fished out of Joe Pool Lake and plenty of empty Pepsi cans.
“The biggest part of it is the blue flame,” Martin High School senior Aryana Louys explained to Ware. “It’s not completed yet, but I think it really represents what an inspiration you are and the inspiration you ignite in others.”
The sculpture also features Ware’s entire Hall of Fame acceptance speech that he gave in Canton, Ohio. One of the art students transcribed it by hand on the sculpture.
One element that wasn’t on the statue yet is a mold of Ware’s hand clutching a Pepsi can – because it still had to be made. So, surrounded by the class, Ware stuck his hand – clutching the Pepsi can – into a bucket of wet alginate.
And then he waited.
As the alginate dried to create the mold, Ware invited the class to ask questions. The students, awed to be in the presence of the 6-foot-4-inch Cowboys legend, hung on his every word.
But Ware was as down to earth as can be as he shared from his heart and talked about the challenges from his youth that shaped who he became.
“I was a kid that was really different,” Ware said. “It felt like I didn’t belong.”
But eventually, he realized that being different made him special.
“Be yourself,” he challenged the students. “If you dare to be different, that’s when you’re really going to be a gamechanger … Stick with it. Be you. And eventually, you’re going to sit in the right seat that God made for you.”
The students were touched.
“It was so inspiring to hear him talk about his life,” said Martin senior Ariana Wolf. “I can’t even describe it in words. It’s truly inspiring to all of us.”
Elizabeth Fender, a Sam Houston High School senior, felt the same way.
“With DeMarcus Ware here and seeing what he’s accomplished and hearing his [Hall of Fame] speech and reading his speech and just talking about his life here really does inspire me to try to be fully who I am and just be all that I can be.”
Now that the mold is ready, the students need to finish the project by Nov. 30 and figure out who they are taking with them to the game. Even though AT&T Stadium is across the street from the CVPA, only a couple of the students have ever been to a Cowboys game.
And they can’t wait.
One student proudly showed Ware the Cowboys sweatshirt he had on – and the Cowboys t-shirt he had on underneath.
Fender is excited, too, even though she’s more of an artist than a football fan.
“I’ve never been to a football game in my life, not even to my little brother’s,” she said. “I’ve never liked sports much, but just to have this reward is really appreciated and I would love to go.”
It turns out, art and football really can go together.