Calvin Spurlin, left, presents this sculpture of “The Crimson Legend” to Ken Gaddy, director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum.
Calvin Spurlin, left, presents this sculpture of “The Crimson Legend” to Ken Gaddy, director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum.

Archived Story

Crimson Legend

Published 3:28pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Calvin Spurlin of Somerville, who has business ties in Romania, has announced the release of “The Crimson Legend,” a framed porcelain sculpture commemorating the 100th birthday of UA football legend Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

The oval-shaped 12-inch by 16-inch image of Bryant is centered on a houndstooth mat and a 16-inch by 20-inch frame made from native Tuscaloosa County black walnut wood.

A copy of the original cast is now on display at the Paul Bryant Museum on the UA campus in Tuscaloosa. Pre-orders are being accepted at Slate Gallery & Framing and Behind the Glass in Decatur.

“I was brainstorming for ideas for my porcelain sculpturing business in Romania when I realized that Coach Byrant’s 100th birthday was coming up on Sept. 11,” Spurlin said. “I realized immediately that I needed to cast a tile in his image and offer it as a lasting piece of sports memorabilia.”

The limited edition piece of unique art was designed by a highly respected Romanian sculptor who works for Romamerica, a company owned by Spurlin. The image replicates a photo made by Donna Peters, a well-known southern artist.

Spurlin said he plans to make 2013 copies of the sculpture. They are being matted by Slate Framing and Gallery and framed by Spurlin and some of his employees.

“Putting the pieces of the puzzle together was the real challenge because we wanted to get it done before Christmas,” he added. “Our goal is to have 700 copies ready by Christmas.”

Spurlin’s link to Romania began 10 years ago when he visited the country as a member of a mission team representing Hartselle Church of Christ.

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