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Volume 22 No. 12
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Tracie Speca-Ventura, Sports & The Arts

Photo: Courtesy of Sports & The Arts

Tracie Speca-Ventura

Founder and President, Sports & The Arts
Born: Ardmore, Pa.
Education: California State University, Northridge

Tracie Speca-Ventura walked by an art gallery with sports exhibits in 1989 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. She was 19.

“I thought, this is super cool. There was a help wanted sign,” she said. “I went in and said I didn’t know anything about art, but I know a lot about sports and know how to sell.”

Speca-Ventura had just spent a summer serving as an assistant to Pete Rose and his family when he managed the Cincinnati Reds. Speca-Ventura’s father, Lee Speca, was Rose’s minor league roommate in 1961.

She got the job at that gallery, and in her first month organized art shows for the Los Angeles Kings featuring Wayne Gretzky and Mickey Mantle.

By 1992, she founded Sports & The Arts and is now a top art curator working with sports teams and their venues on art and historical collections, including at Yankee Stadium, Lambeau Field, Levi’s Stadium and U.S. Bank Stadium.

“No one was doing this. No one does this on our scale,” Speca-Ventura said of the California-based company.

The firm is assisting the Milwaukee Bucks with artwork at Fiserv Forum and is talking to the Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors regarding their new venues.

“We have employed now over 250 artists,” she said. “There are probably 300 to 400 kids who have worked on our projects from art schools and universities.”

— Mike Sunnucks

Getting to know...

Attributes I look for when hiring: Ability for a person to think outside the box and use their creativity in unexpected ways.
Misperception of working in sports:
That sports art is not fine art. Each sporting or entertainment event can have upward of 30,000-80,000 captivated eyes focused and experiencing the artwork, more than many museums.
Proudest professional achievement:
The art collection at Lambeau Field. With the Packers’ history and legacy, we were able to create a memorable installation and commission unique artworks throughout. The end result is a great template that showcases the impact of storytelling through the use of photography and artwork.
Woman in sports business I’d like to meet:
Jeanie Buss, L.A. Lakers owner. The history of the Lakers franchise is exciting and dynamic and I would relish the opportunity to tell their story and develop an art collection for their venue and training site.