By Jaime Aron
Throwing, catching and kicking a football at Playoff Fan Central makes perfect sense. Getting a picture taken pulling down a goal post, or getting your own digital trading card, also fits the theme.
How about taking part in an art project?
Well, that, too, is part of the carnival-like atmosphere inside the McEnery Convention Center. Better yet, it’s not only limited to people who are here; fans can participate from anywhere in the country.
“This is awesome!” said Patricia Polanco of San Jose. “It’s so cool to be part of making something.”
The creation is called a Hashtag Mosaic. And it’s enormous: 116 inches wide and 44 inches tall.
Hanging on a wall inside the same room as CFP championship trophy, the canvas is broken into 5,104 cubes about the size of a large postage stamp. Each slot has a number denoting its row and column. That bingo-like tag is important because that’s how the people pasting the images know where to put them.
All photos are related to the College Football Playoff. In fact, they’re captured every time someone with a public profile posts a picture on Instagram or Twitter with #CFBPlayoff.
That’s how anyone anywhere can get involved.
For those who are here, there’s an added bonus: images can be printed as photo stickers.
The Polanco family – Patricia, her husband Gilbert and their daughter Selena – took a picture near the Hashtag Mosaic and immediately tagged it on social media. Staff from Luster, the company behind the project, gave the Polancos their Polaroid-esque printouts. Their image also may eventually wind up on the wall.
As with all photomosaics, some pictures will get tinted to fit the ultimate image.
The image will be a CFP 2019-themed creation by Charles Fazzino, the artist known for his 3D pop art images. While Fazzino designed a limited-edition print and poster celebrating this event, this one is different. The specifics are a secret that’s being slowly revealed – one-third going up Friday, another third on Saturday and the rest on Sunday.
“It’s fun because people come up close thinking it’s a puzzle,” said Kathryn Hammond of Luster. “The further away you are, the better you can see it.”
By late Friday, the canvas looked like a patchy bulletin board. The image will begin coming together on Saturday.
The database already is populated with images posted in recent weeks. As new images arrive, they move to the front of the line. Some spots on the canvas will be pasted over multiple times, so fans are encouraged to keep posting shots with #CFBPlayoff.
Volunteers are working with Luster staff to paste images into the proper slots. Fans are encouraged to help, too – especially tall people.