Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA commissioned art captures championship win


To commemorate the 2009 national championship, the Birmingham-based company ActionSportsArt has released “Red Sea Parting,” a multi-layer image that shows running back Mark Ingram plowing through the Texas defensive line to score the game’s first touchdown.

Like all other images produced by ActionSportsArt, “Red Sea Parting” is licensed by the Collegiate Licensing Company, which permits the artwork to use official logos.

Unlike other images, “Red Sea Parting” was officially commissioned by the University’s athletic department and will therefore include the athletic department’s official seal.

During the four-and-a-half month commissioning process, ActionSportsArt dealt directly with the athletic department, said Cort Harwood, co-founder and chief operating officer of the company.

After designing the image, the company presented the artwork to the associate athletic director for football Mike Vollmar, who then showed it to the coaches, Harwood said.

“They loved it,” Harwood said. “We created a custom-sized canvas that’s 4 1/2 feet by 6 feet for Coach Saban’s office. Several other coaches have our artwork, too.”

Harwood said that the reason his company’s art has been so well-received is due to “chalouje,” its patent-pending process of distilling and layering photographs to give images depth.

“Our process allows us to layer and blend several images to make them come together as one image, whereas in other collages, images look flat and cut-out,” he said.

The four founders of ActionSportsArt came up with the process while trying to create a unique birthday present for co-founder Jeff Dungan’s daughter. Using the chalouje process, they created a custom-made soccer poster featuring photographs of Mia Hamm.

“We came up with our process, made pieces, defined our process, and created a business,” Harwood said. “The company took a life of its own.”

Co-founder Chad Martin does all of the composing, while business partners Jeff Dungan and Louis Nequette “look over his shoulder” and give suggestions the whole time.

“For ‘Red Sea Parting,’ our idea was to capture the one play that took them [Alabama] over the top and to capture the overall experience,” Martin said. “A lot of people couldn’t go to the game, so we wanted the image to capture the experience. The Rose Bowl sign captures the tradition and history surrounding the game. The hand-written play coincides with the photograph of the play to show people something they never get to see. The scoreboard captures the last moment of the game, the victory.”

For Harwood, the image “really captures the essence of Alabama football — power football that runs the football to tire the opposition.”

“I love being able to create experience all over again for the fan,” Harwood said.

Because the image features pictures of underclassman athletes, profits generated by “Red Sea Parting” have to benefit student athletes, Harwood said. Thus, proceeds will go to funding athletic scholarships at the University.

“We’ve gone through all the right steps to do this,” Martin said. “They like the direction we’re going. We may not receive any monetary profits, but it’s a brand awareness thing. It’s a great way for people to associate us with such a well-known and well-respected institution.”

And the best part is, fans can own this very same piece of artwork also owned by Coach Saban and the other Alabama coaches. A limited number of canvases sized at 30 inches by 40 inches as well as 18-by-24-inch prints of “Red Sea Parting” are available for purchase at and

By March of this year, ActionSportsArt expects to be creating art for all major college football teams as well as NFL and MLB teams.

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