Artist/athlete exhibits lifetime of art at New Woodstock library

On Sept. 10, area residents will be able to take in a 45-year retrospective of this internationally acclaimed, Cazenovia-based artist's work in a two-site exhibition in the hamlet of New Woodstock. Small landscape paintings will be on view in the New Woodstock Free Library's gallery and Jim Ridlon opens his studio on Railroad Street in New Woodstock for the viewing of large-scale paintings, portfolios of prints, assemblages, posters and other works completed over his long and storied career.

Ridlon is an artist comfortable in a variety of media and subject matter - from the Cazenovia landscape to the history of Syracuse football. In addition to his work for galleries, he has completed sports-related commissions for a several national corporations, including large assemblages for ABC Television to commemorate Monday Night Football and Wide World of Sports. He also fashioned the Outland Trophy, awarded each year to the premier college football lineman.

"I can't wait for someone from Syracuse University to win the Outland," he said. "It's coming."

The Monday Night Football assemblage now resides at the entrance of the new addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The Wide World of Sports piece, which commemorates the 25th anniversary of that seminal show, is comprised of 750 items donated by individuals who competed in events televised by the show. It is expected to be moved to the Smithsonian Institution in the near future.

In 1989, Syracuse University commissioned Ridlon to create a six-foot by 20-foot assemblage reflecting on the first one hundred years of Syracuse Football.

"It was really wonderful to work on a narrative that I was a part of," Ridlon states. "Did you know the first colors of Syracuse football were pink and powder blue," he asked. "It didn't take them long to change the color to orange!"

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