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Bowden portrait unveiled before Sunday’s game

Bobby Bowden commissioned a portrait to be done earlier this year. Steve Skipper didn’t disappoint, spending 1,500 hours on the project.

“I think it’s beautiful,” Ann Bowden said. “He did a great job. I’ve seen him look like that many times. Thinking about the next game. Or the last one.”

The portrait is called “Chosen.” Skipper was chosen out of a select pool of artists and spent time with Bobby and Ann Bowden, sifting through photos and discussing how to capture the coach’s life.

“When you paint your hero, it’s a different thing,” Skipper said. “… It’s something will stay with me forever. For him to choose me out of all the choices he had, it will always be special. You hear a lot of people talking about him off the field but I think his relentless nature and his commitment to excellence that made him the coach he was, his work ethic and then the family oriented way that he coached and surrounded his players. I think that’s impressive to me. You don’t see that now. Coaches are so money-oriented and business-oriented. They don’t have that hands-on touch that coach Bowden had.”

The portraits are on sale now in various sizes and are limited edition.