“Art is Medicine” ~ Ed White

 Ed has created beautiful and mindful art. Inspired by Mother Nature’s colorful landscapes and majestic skies, Ed captures her beauty in his artwork—from her beloved oceans to her sacred deserts, which often reveal the sun or moon. 

Studying  environmental design and art at the University of California at Berkeley where he had a front row seat to a time of great change in our society and culture (1965-1969). Ed considers himself to be an Environmental Abstract Contemporary painter drawing inspiration from his life as traveler, sailor, philanthropist and legendary football player and coach.

“I try to capture the beauty, the joy, and the pain of the world around us and filter  it through my soul for the world to enjoy.”

While an undeniable artist from a young age, Ed was also an undeniable athlete. Football was his sport—a means of expressing himself through quick thinking, and animalistic instincts. It could be from the beautiful balance of his art and athletics that he has succeeded in both. 

“What motivates me as an artist and an athlete is being in the zone…the space where ‘cruise control’ takes over and your connection is from your hand to your soul. The brain is disconnected.”

Following a thriving college career, Ed was the first pick for the Minnesota Vikings in 1969, where he played nine seasons as an All-Pro offensive guard with four Super Bowl starts. In 1978, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers where he continued as a Pro-Bowl player for eight more seasons. He retired as a player in 1986, but did not retire from football. He coached for the Chargers, Rams, Cal Berkeley, and San Diego State where he made a profound impact on his players on the field and as men.

Since retiring from coaching in 2004, Ed has devoted his life to his art. Throughout the years he has been commissioned to do many bronze sculptures, which include the following: John Madden’s All-Pro Team, San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, San Diego State Hall of Fame, University of San Diego Hall of Fame, San Diego Entertainer of the Year, Hall of Champions Ernie Wright Award, “On the Line” Nike Award, as well as many bronze pieces held in private collections. 

Art is medicine is the mantra for Oak Lake Art Center (OLAC), which Ed has been the executive director of since 1992. The non-profit, educational foundation—originally called Westward Ho—was started by David Stone, an elementary school teacher interested in teaching children about the pioneer experience. After David’s death, Ed took over the foundation to help bring art into the community. Mostly helping at-risk youth, OLAC helps children discover the many ways art can inspire and heal. OLAC is also involved with the Kind Warriors project, which is a non-profit to help military veterans and retired football players who suffer from traumatic brain injuries.