“In the Paint” at UConn Brings the Excitement of March Madness to the Art World

By Mallory ODonoghue for Connecticut Public Radio

As March Madness tips off on Tuesday, excitement over college basketball can be seen everywhere on UConn’s Storrs campus.

Nowhere is the creative energy around basketball culture more apparent on campus than at the exhibit “In the Paint: Basketball in Contemporary Art” at the William Benton Museum of Art.

The display explores the symbolism and history of basketball, which is inextricably part of UConn’s culture. With nine NCAA Tournament wins for the women’s team, and four championship rings for the men’s, UConn is a staple for many a basketball fan’s “brackets.”

This year, the UConn men’s tournament hopes are over after their upsetting defeat to Southern Methodist University.

But it’s quite a different story for the Connecticut women. The returning champions have been ranked as a number one seed, and are one of the teams to watch.

UConn basketball moves from the court to the gallery space in a variety of mediums at “In the Paint.” Fans, fashionistas, and political junkies alike will enjoy the display of basketball apparel, from a pair of special edition Husky Nikes of gigantic proportions, to Barack Obama’s own UConn women’s basketball jersey, signed by the commander-in-chief himself.

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