As you explore galleries and studios and browse auction catalogs and social media feeds, you’ll see that the art world is becoming more intertwined with sports.

NC Art Loves Sport

Renowned artists who explored the theme of sports in the past have their artwork shown at exhibitions focused on sports. Youthful artists interact with the game as enthusiastic enthusiasts, cautious skeptics, or sentimental grown-ups. The market is reacting.

For example, the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, had a basketball-themed group exhibition titled “To the Hoop” in 2020.

Artists and industry insiders attribute the widespread use of basketball in art to a combination of cultural influences and creative drives.

The present generation of artists peaked as they matured throughout the increasing popularity of the N.B.A. in the last several decades, influenced by iconic players like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and the former UNC legend himself, Michael Jordan. Even artists who were not enthusiastic supporters of the game acknowledged its profound impact on society.

In the past ten years, there has been a slow but eventual expansion of art venues and organizations, particularly emphasizing Black artists in the market. There has also been a broader reconsideration of what qualifies as fine art, leading to the incorporation of more concepts and inspirations from popular culture, street art, and commercial sectors.

For artists in The Tar Heel state, basketball may be a potent and easily understandable emblem and a mundane aspect of contemporary American society.

North Carolina Student Selected for NBA All-Star Art Presentation

When the NBA All-Star weekend approaches, most fans, critics, and handicappers prepare for get-togethers, parties, and the festivities of professional basketball action. Some fans can’t get enough of sportsbooks like Caesars in North Carolina during this time, but not many think about their artistic expression.

However, at the NBA’s All-Star game last year, a third-year student studying fashion merchandising and design at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences gained recognition for her artwork.

Yakira Chapman was chosen to display an original painting at the 2023 NBA All-Star x HBCU Student Art Showcase, an art exhibition held during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City. Physical copies of the artwork were shown in the arena throughout the weekend, including Sunday’s big game. A film featuring the art and artists was presented in the arena during “All-Star Saturday Night.”

Chapman, one of eight students selected nationwide for the showcase, collaborated with the NBA’s creative team to produce a commissioned artwork representing her time at an HBCU. The retrospective of her work, titled “107: Take Your Pick,” was also included in the event’s advertising materials and shared on and the NBA’s social media platforms.

A fellow Aggie, Janiya Barcliff, a junior majoring in visual media (graphic) design in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Texas A&M University, also participated in the showcase.

Art & Sport in NC: Beyond the Brush

Art & Sport in NC: Beyond the Brush

Art takes shape in many forms, and it was the Carolina Performing Arts premiere of the film “Artists Are Athletes / Athletes Are Artists” last October during halftime of the Carolina Women’s Soccer game against Notre Dame that took an artistic spotlight beyond the brush.

The film featured a tap-dancing pioneer, Michelle Dorrance, the daughter of renowned UNC Women’s Soccer coach Anson Dorrance. The performance featured slick ball skills and intricate footwork choreographed to unique music developed in partnership with Dorrance, incorporating tap rhythms and noises reminiscent of a soccer match.

The CPA intends to continue the campaign by creating films and fostering unexpected partnerships between arts and sports.

Carolina Performing Arts is the primary multi-arts presenter in the American South at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. They aim to ignite curiosity and encourage community members to explore and interact more profoundly with the world.


Zoe Harrison

Zoe Harrison, a Wellness Coach with a Master's degree in Health Psychology from UCLA, has been inspiring our readers since 2021. Her 15-year journey in lifestyle coaching, including a stint at a renowned wellness retreat, equips her to offer insights into holistic living. Her articles often reflect her belief in the power of mindfulness and balanced living. Zoe's passion for healthy living is evident in her practical and engaging articles. Outside her writing, she's an enthusiastic yogi and a promoter of community wellness programs.

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