Bold. Energetic. Colorful. Uplifting. Vibrant.
The Eagles commissioned contemporary artist Tiff Urquhart to create a large-scale mural incorporating all of those elements to celebrate Pride Month. She cleverly weaved in aspects of the game of football – her work was featured during the Eagles' run to the Super Bowl as part of the Gameday Poster Playlist Series presented by Pepsi this past season. But she didn't realize how her concept utilizing a symphony of plants shaded in all colors of the rainbow perfectly illustrated one of Head Coach Nick Sirianni's key messages to the team in his rookie season in 2021.
"There is so much that is left unseen when it comes to plants," Urquhart said. "People just like to look at the pretty flower when it's blooming, but you have to go through a whole process and all of the seasons. It's everchanging. The root system is so complex, and it's connected to all of the other roots of the plants around it. They're all talking to each other, and I know that sounds crazy, but it is happening, and we can't see it."
Plants also served as the inspiration for Urquhart's Eagles-themed Pride Month mural because they symbolize the obstacles that the LGBTQ+ community faces.
"There are a lot of challenging conditions like these anti-LGBTQ+ bills that are happening," Urquhart said. "The queer community is strong, and there's reason that they're loud and prideful and it's because we have to be. I don't know why people want to attack the happiest community there is. And it's like we can fight, we can fight, we can fight, but we have to adapt to our surroundings, and we have to find a way and find a place where we fit in and where we have community and where we have space to talk and feel comfortable within ourselves. I feel like plants and forests, and nature do that on a daily basis. They are constantly adapting, constantly changing."
The mural is 10-feet tall and 24-feet wide, filled with an array of nods to the Eagles and the game of football.
• There are footballs embedded into the plants.
• There is a smattering of X's and O's floating above the wings that fit what coaches will draw up on the whiteboard, but also serve as gender symbols.
"To intertwine those two was definitely meaningful, and I felt like it just made it that much easier to fit in and tie in with football and the Eagles and Philly is a strong queer community," Urquhart said.
• "Go Birds" is blended into the background and a rainbow-themed Eagles logo is prominently displayed in the lower-right corner of the mural.
The Eagles contacted Urquhart, a Florida native who made the move to Philadelphia in 2019, to gauge her interest in the project in April. After working on the Gameday Poster Playlist Series, Urquhart dreamed of doing a large-scale mural for the team – and as a member of the queer community doing it for Pride Month made it much more personal for her. She spent about a week on the initial sketches. When it came time to bring the drawing to life, Urquhart used over 20 cans of spray paint and spent roughly 12 hours over the course of two days.
Urquhart appreciates that Eagles Everywhere can come to Lincoln Financial Field during Pride Month to see it up close and personal and take their photo in front of the wings.
"I believe that my art can help raise awareness for queer issues and inspire others to celebrate their own self, however they may identify," Urquhart said. "I hope that I can help celebrate not only the beauty and diversity of nature but inspire others to appreciate the unique patterns and shapes of all queer people."