Art, college football, Football, sports, tire art

Goodyear re-created the Nittany Lion and Tom, the Tiger


When we hear “tire art,” our first thoughts are usually of the abstract doodles left behind by a driver ripping a nasty succession of donuts. NCAA Cotton Bowl Classic title sponsor Goodyear has something else in mind. For four years running, it has commissioned life-size and highly detailed sculptures of the participating teams’ mascots made—perhaps predictably—almost entirely from tires.

This year, Goodyear again tapped artist (and former minor league baseball player, apparently) Blake McFarland to recreate both the Penn State Nittany Lion and the University of Memphis’ Tom, the Tiger. 

Between the two sculptures, McFarland utilized 260 tires and 450 well-hidden screws. While both mascots are big cats, the designs are very different. The Nittany Lion’s smooth physique is recreated with large, solid sections of tread that appear almost seamless from a distance. Meanwhile, Tom’s fluffy coat utilizes many layers of smaller, triangular slices.

After the festivities, the two tire sculptures will go to their respective universities as mementos of their trip to this year’s bowl game. 

We’ve seen McFarland’s previous work, and he’s not alone in creating life-life tire art. Korean artist Ji Yong-Ho’s awesome shark created entirely from used radials turned heads nearly a decade ago. 

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