PITTSBURGH — All eyes are on Jerome Bettis this weekend, but another local star has also made his way to Canton.
Larry Klu, an artist from Lower Burrell, was invited by the Pro Football Hall of Fame to show off his Steelers masterpiece.
“Life is good. I’m living a dream,” Klu said.
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Klu has turned his passion for sports and art into a career, with every piece created in his shop in Lower Burrell and the heart of his studio focused on Pittsburgh sports.
“I'm creating something to honor them and commemorate their wonderful achievements,” Klu said.
However, it’s Klu’s own artistic achievements that will be honored at the Hall of Fame induction.
A print of his piece called “Steelers and Ravens Turf War” is on display in Canton and currently on sale at the Hall of Fame’s website.
“It's going to be one of the most special moments,” he said.
Klu said it’s the face that brings his paintings of Pittsburgh sports icons, such as Jerome Bettis and Sydney Crosby, to life.
“Once you get the eyes, you get the essence of the individual,” he said. “There's always that risk that you portray someone not to their liking.”
But that’s something Klu doesn’t come across too often, and he can paint on just about anything, including a football.
He said his most challenging creation was painting on the Terrible Towel.
“There's all these little nooks and crannies and you have to poke your brush,” Klu said.
He said, in the end, each stroke is worth the time.
Klu said one of his greatest joys is walking through Heinz Field and seeing some of his work on display. He said it feels like something out of a storybook.
“The athletes probably grow up and say they're living the dream,” Klu said. “Well, it's the same for me.”