Academic journal article Education

The United States Sports Academy and the American Sports Art Museum and Archives

Academic journal article Education

The United States Sports Academy and the American Sports Art Museum and Archives

Article excerpt

The American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) is a division of the United States Sports Academy. Dedicated to the preservation of sports history, art and literature, the ASAMA collection captures the performance and movement of man by creating an awareness of the role art mediums play in capturing our sports heroes and perpetuating their performances for posterity. Located in an artistic atmosphere in the architecturally acclaimed main campus building, the gallery periodically features showings of renowned sport artists.

The ASAMA collection currently contains almost 1,000 pieces in all mediums: paintings, sculpture, prints, posters, photography and assemblages. Also featured is the largest public art offering in the state of Alabama: the famed two story tall mural by Maestro Cristobal Gabarron entitled "A Tribute to the Human Spirit" gracing one wall of the main campus building. The mural has become a landmark on Mobile's Eastern Shore.

The United States Sports Academy's main campus building was officially named a sport art museum on 8 August 1998. Then Alabama Governor Fob James and Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, the Academy's President and Chief Executive Officer, facilitated the ribbon-cutting honors to officially dedicate the Academy's American Sport Art Museum and Archives. The dedication was a special day in the overall history of the Sports Academy, and a new beginning for ASAMA. During a brief, informal ceremony at ASAMA's Walk of Fame, James officially declared the date, August 8, as "American Sport Art Museum and Archives Day" in Alabama.

ASAMA, considered to have the largest collection of sport art in the world, has provided resident students the unparalleled pleasure of studying in classrooms, hallways, and offices filled with some of the most prestigious works of sport art available. Open to the public Monday through Friday, ASAMA also provides the public an opportunity to gain insight into the special nature of sport art with its intensity, its action, and its life. Public and private school groups as well as commercial tour groups from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are frequent visitors to the Museum.

ASAMA sponsors many different events, but none is more significant than the yearly award which honors the "Sport Artist of the Year". This event is the ASAMA's annual fundraiser entitled, "The Academy's Awards of Sport: A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete." The award is presented to the artist who best captures the spirit and life of sport. The recipient may present work in a variety of media including paint and canvas, newspapers, magazines or periodicals, photography, illustrations, film, video or sculpture to depict the breadth and scope of both the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory in sport.

Nominations are accepted from any member of the United States Sports Academy's worldwide family. This group includes the administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, national faculty and various advisory boards that serve ASAMA. Nominations also can be offered by the general public to the Director of ASAMA. Former Sport Artists of the Year continue their contribution by serving on the judging committee. Nominations are screened by the Awards of Sport Committee. By secret ballot, the award winner is selected by the Academy Club and approved by the Academy's Board of Trustees.

Artists who have been honored as Sport Artist of the Year by ASAMA have also been acknowledged in the art world for their general contributions to art. Many can be recognized when one reviews the listing of artists who have been honored as Sport Artists of the Year since 1984:

   2002 Mina Valyrak 
   2001 Daniel You & Richard Macdonald 
   2000 Charles Billich 
   1999 Aldo Luongo 
   1998 James Rizzi 
   1997 Paul Goodnight 
   1996 Liston Bochete, III 
   1995 Murry Tinkleman 
   1994 Robert Riger 
   1993 Stephen Holland 
   1992 Cristobal Garbarron 
   1991 Bernie Fuchs 
   1990 Blair Buswell 
   1989 Jim Ridlon 
   1988 Hans Erni 
   1987 Sheila Wolk 
   1986 Bart Forbes 
   1985 Donald Moss 
   1984 Ernie Barnes 

The 2002 Sport Artist of the Year Award was presented to Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki of Greece because of the passion that is so evident in her paintings. …

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