Two sides of the same coin: art and football
Pat Burns '11 scores a touchdown at this past weekend's football game against Middlebury. He is a football player and an art major, a rare combination.
Most people think that art and football are mutually exclusive terms. However, for Pat Burns â€™11, art and football have existed together for a long time, although he recognizes the difficulty of doing both. â€œI had always taken art in elementary school, and all the way up [through high school], but I was always torn between athletics and art; they donâ€™t really go togetherâ€ he said. He has been playing football for just as long, starting when he was seven. â€œI used to play with my brothers. I grew up in West Virginia, and football is big down South. Thatâ€™s what I did most of my life thatâ€™s what I was most focused on.â€
Although he does not see much overlap between art and football, he said they each, â€œattract a different side of my personality. I wouldnâ€™t say they are similar, but I enjoy them both immensely.â€ Football involves discipline and working with a team. Art involves a different kind of discipline but is usually solitary work.
Pat has been interested in college football for a long time, and knew he wanted to keep playing when he came to college. â€œWhen I was in high school, I just wanted to get the scholarship to play. At some point you just realize you arenâ€™t going to play for the NFL.â€ He chose Colby over NCAA Division I football programs so that he could, â€œfocus on the next stage of my life.â€ He started as a quarterback, but switched positions to wide receiver beginning his junior year.
Colby has allowed him to explore his other interests and still remain involved in football. â€œIâ€™ve been playing for 15 years now. I love it, and this is my last year. Iâ€™m just trying to go out and give it my all,â€ he said.
When Pat came to Colby, he thought he would major in Economics, but said, â€œI just didnâ€™t enjoy it,â€ adding with distaste, â€œlooking at the graphs.â€ He took a foundations of studio art class and really enjoyed it, at which point he dropped his economics aspirations and decided to be an art major. â€œIt worked out,â€ he smiled.
As an art major, Pat has focused on printmaking. He does works using the relief print technique, focusing on linoleum cuts. This involves carving out an image so that the raised (uncarved) part of the linoleum represents the mirror image of what will be printed. The carved out portions come out white and allow printmakers to manipulate the interplay between light and dark. Linocut allows him to experiment with different styles, lines, shapes and textures. He is currently working on a Venus in white line print and a Purple Urkel which represents his dabbling in pop art. He is going to keep working in the printmaking medium and build his portfolio, so that his works can be featured in the Senior Art Show.
Besides printmaking and painting, Pat has also explored alternative art including design and graffiti. He has helped friends with t-shirt designs (Purple Urkel might be making an appearance on t-shirts in the Spring). Last year in his Dana five man, Pat and his roommates graffitied the walls with art and images that expressed their interests (see â€œCreative students take dorm dÃ©cor to a new levelâ€ by Hannah Wagner in the Wednesday Oct. 21 2009 issue of the Echo).
Pat does not necessarily feel the need to pursue art as his career after Colby. He is applying for an internship at Christieâ€™s for JanPlan, and thinks working at an art gallery would suit him. However his interests arenâ€™t limited to the art world, and thinks he would excel at anything that he might do in the future.
He enjoys his artwork for the spontaneity it affords. â€œYou just fall into a zone and you donâ€™t think. You arenâ€™t really processing informationâ€¦itâ€™s just coming from within you at that moment. You might be premeditated in what you want to do, but what you create just happens, in that moment.â€