Cowboys Security Guard Evolves Into Stadium's Art Ambassador

By Meredith Land
|  Thursday, Jun 19, 2014  |  Updated 7:47 AM CDT
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Phil Whitfield, art ambassador at AT&T Stadium, reflects on his passion for art in all 58 world-class contemporary pieces housed at the stadium.

Meredith Land, NBC 5 News

Phil Whitfield, art ambassador at AT&T Stadium, reflects on his passion for art in all 58 world-class contemporary pieces housed at the stadium.

One passionate Dallas Cowboys fan helped curate 58 pieces of world-class contemporary art housed at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

But, what Jerry Jones and his family really want you to know is that the man who made it all happen, Phil Whitfield, is now the toast of the art world.

Whitfield is the stadium's art ambassador. Anyone who visits the stadium remembers his name.

"I bleed silver and blue," Whitfield said with a smile.

Whitfield, who says he was born a Cowboys fan, became a stadium security guard in the early 90s and quickly caught the eye of the Jones family.

"The Joneses knew I was a caring person. Once you care about people, the rest is easy," Whitfield said.

Gene Jones, Jerry Jones's wife, said Whitfield has been there from the beginning. From Super Bowls to family firsts.

"He's part of our family. We feel blessed that we have his energy and enthusiasm about what we're doing," Gene Jones said.

When 58 world-class artists flew in to install their works at the stadium, the Joneses turned to Whitfield.

"I said, 'Art? Me do art?' I thought I was the most unlikely person to do art but come to realize it ended up being a blessing in disguise," Whitfield said.

Whitfield was each artist's right-hand man while their works were installed at the stadium.

"Some nights were all night. I did whatever it took to satisfy them," Whitfield said.

As a result, Whitfield can tell you how each artist installed their piece, what they liked for dinner and just about everything related to their history.

"I've heard he even became like a counselor. They'd be working on a big piece of art and would say, 'This isn't working just right' and he'd say 'Oh, it's looking great. You're doing a super job," Gene Jones said of Whitfield.

Whitfield said the experience helped foster a passion for art.

"Artists are a different group," Whitfield said. "I am just going to say that. They really don't care if you have a blue shoe or a green shoe on. They really don't. They don't care if you're tall, handsome or not handsome. They care about the passion you have for art."

Whitfield now gives stadium tours to school children, celebrities and even former presidents. 

Gene Jones said they now receive calls from galleries who have heard about Whitfield's curating talent.

Whitfield believes that life lead him to this artistic point, but passion ties him to the art of AT&T Stadium.

"I kind of pinch myself when I walk in the door. Life has not changed. Life is real simple. You care about people, it comes from the heart, people are going to know it came from the heart," Whitfield said.

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