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Portrait of Jamie Pollard

Who Am I? Exhibition

Published onAug 25, 2020
Portrait of Jamie Pollard
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Jamie Pollard, 2020
Rose Frantzen (American, b. 1951)
Oil on canvas.
Part of the Faces of Iowa State series.
Commissioned by University Museums. Funded by the Office of the President. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
U2020.4

Interpretation 1

In an effort to continue and evolve the portraiture tradition at Iowa State, artist Rose Frantzen (b. 1951) was commissioned to paint portraits of a selection of impactful Iowa State University alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends live during the course of the 2016 Iowa State Fair and as an artist-in-residence on campus in April and October of 2017.  The Faces of Iowa State Project continues and in 2019 Frantzen was commissioned to add portraits of Sarah Bartlett, Class of 2020 and the Lynette L. Pohlman Fellow at University Museums, and Jamie Pollard, Iowa State University Athletic Director. Following the exhibition Who Am I ?, these two recent commissions will be installed with all the Faces of Iowa State in the Parks Library.

Frantzen’s portrait series continues the tradition of highlighting the people of Iowa State from all walks of life, and pushes the university’s collection of portraiture into modernity. Each of the portrait participants in Faces of Iowa State were selected by campus partners–deans, vice presidents and directors, and were painted in individual four-hour sessions, resulting in a sense of spontaneity in each portrait. Frantzen is both an accomplished artist and an insightful psychologist who captures the essence as well as the likeness of each person. Throughout this process, each portrait participant commented on the bonding between the artist and themselves. The Faces of Iowa State reflects the artist’s desire to meet her subject on their terms. The consistent frontal pose in the portraits indicates the openness and intimacy of these encounters between subject and painter. Portraiture continues to be an elegant and sincere way to honor the accomplished men and women at Iowa State University. The timelessness and approachability of portraits allows the community to connect with and be inspired by these individuals and their stories. Portraits have always been more than simply a record; they show the intelligence, importance, virtue, beauty, emotion and other qualities of the sitter through the eyes of an artist. Faces of Iowa State, according to Rose Frantzen, is “people harmonizing at ISU.” By celebrating those who are important to us, Iowa State University is defining its identity.

Excerpt from Faces of Iowa State gallery guide, 2017, University Museums.

Interpretation 2

Since that fall day in 2005 when Jamie Pollard began his duties as the Director of Athletics, the university has forever been transformed to possessing a program that has the respect from not only its passionate fan base but on a national level.

Jamie’s list of accomplishments simply are too lengthy to do justice in these short words. Regardless, it is most appropriate to mention a few of the highlights. Under Jamie’s leadership, more than $250 million has been invested in new construction and facility renovations made possible through his donor relations efforts, he has hired what many consider the strongest coaching staff in school history, and attendance at all sporting events, mostly notably football, is at record levels.

Two unforeseen and unprecedented crises disrupted the college sports scene during Jamie’s time at Iowa State. In 2011 institutional conference realignment deeply threatened the university’s membership in the Big XII, and in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe disrupting life as we knew it.  In both instances, the University could not have asked for better leadership in keeping the Department of Athletics not only viable but strong.

Jamie has held numerous national positions including President of the Division 1A Athletics Directors Association as well as a distinguished assignment on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee. Because of his accomplishments and strong leadership, Jamie was most appropriately recognized as the 2019 Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.    

This portrait wonderfully displays many of Jamie’s most admirable qualities.

The somewhat firm facial feature expresses the sound structural and organizational skills he uses in managing the department.

His ears are symmetrically displayed demonstrating that Jamie is a terrific listener to both sides of issues and that he seeks collaborative input to develop consensus during decision making processes.

His soft smile shows that he is not only an extraordinary and transparent communicator, but that he also has profound compassion when interacting with student athletes, staff, and stakeholders.

And finally, one can read by looking directly into his eyes, that one of Jamie’s very strongest attributes is his visionary management style, always thinking a little bit “out of the box” and projecting what may be ideal in the future.

Shortly after his hire, a Cyclone fan commented to a local sports reporter that if the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious award given annually to the top college football player in the nation, were  ever to be given to a director of athletics, Jamie Pollard would be the unanimous  selection.  While not portrayed in this work of art, it is not terribly difficult to envision Jamie wearing a football helmet and shoulder pads.

Jon Fleming
Donor to Athletics and Cyclone fan since birth

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