NOVEMBER ARTWALK FEATURED ARTIST
The Warehouse Arts District and ArtsXchange St. Pete are proud to present Black & Blue - Depictions by Andra Douglas.
“Andra’s artwork is defined by the courageous spirit of the 100+ women’s tackle football teams throughout the world and inspired by the diversity of the players. She offers this work as a tribute to the female football players of all leagues and ages fueled by the force of their convictions. Her book is like poetry and offers insights into how we raise girls in our society. Highly-relatable, this is the story of every woman who has had a dream but been told no.”
About the Artist:
Pioneering athlete New York Sharks owner and former quarterback Andra Douglas--who is also a philanthropist, author and artist left Florida for New York City in the 1980’s to earn a Masters in Communications from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York for over thirty years.
Originally from Zephyrhills, a tranquil town in Central Florida, she attended Florida State University, playing Rugby, flag football and excelling at golf while majoring in communications design to hone her art and photographic skills.
Next, Andra ventured into publishing at Cosmopolitan magazine, continuing to an executive position as VP Creative for WarnerVision Entertainment/Atlantic Records, after which she
was an independent consultant for the entertainment industry with clients like Disney, Universal Records and BMG Music.
In 2000, she acquired the NY Sharks, a women’s tackle football team. Known as a perennial powerhouse, the Sharks were chosen by USA Football to represent the United States in the inaugural (2008) 5 on 5 Flag Football World Cup, held in Quebec, Canada. Many Sharks also participated in the same event in 2010.
In addition to it’s on-field success, the Sharks are the first women’s team to make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio; the only women’s tackle football team to have a retired jersey on permanent display at the Sports Museum of America in Kansas City, MO; the first women’s team to play in a halftime scrimmage at an NFL game (also televised) on January 2nd, 2005 at Giants Stadium when the Giants faced the Cowboys; hosted the first ever NFL Junior Player Development program for girls at the Giants practice facility in the spring of 2007.
It was the NY Sharks who were most widely covered by the media, having appeared on national shows including “American Gladiator,” ABC’s “The View” with Barbara Walters and “Live with Regis and Kathy Lee.” Our team has been featured on NBC Sports, in Sports Illustrated, on ESPN, and in Peter Jennings book “Search for America,” the Women’s Sports Foundation’s book “Superwomen” and the Smithsonian’s acclaimed book and exhibited entitled “Game Face: What does a Female Athlete Look Like.”
The City of New York invited the team to city hall for ceremony declaring August 9th, 2010 to be New York Sharks Day. An award winning documentary entitled “First Down” was produced which followed the Sharks during their very first season in 2000.
After nineteen full seasons of play, Andra sold the team but the New York Sharks retired as the “winningest” and longest operating women’s tackle football team in the world boasting a nineteen season record that includes 10 Division Titles, 5 East Coast Championships, 2 National Titles (2002, 2018) and 1 International Title. (2018)
In 2003, Andra established FINS UP, a foundation whose mission is to provide opportunities for 13-17 year old “at-risk” girls to learn the sport of football as well as the life skills that come along with it. Current NY Shark players coach the camps.
Her new book, “Black and Blue, Sports, Love and the Art of Empowerment ” touches on her life experience as a non-conforming female growing up in a conservative rural environment, and the subsequent unfurling of her life as an empowered executive and pioneer for women in American football.
Today, she lives with her parrot, 'Pie' in New York’s Greenwich Village where she creates mixed-media artwork and is working on her second book which captures the heartbreaks and thrills of 2019, the final season of the New York Sharks and a life-altering year for Andra as she prepares for life without her team.
flyer by Bailey Gumienny