2000 Sport Artist of the Year Charles Billich and President and CEO Thomas P. Rosandich discuss painting a mural of a sports clock in the building’s atrium during Billich’s recent visit to the Academy.
World-renowned Australian painter Charles Billich is currently working on the design of a 20-foot clock painting, which will be constructed on the outside wall of the United States Sports Academy’s atrium.
The Academy’s 2000 Sport Artist of the Year began concocting his idea while visiting the Daphne, Ala., campus during the Fourth of July weekend. It would be the third mural painted on the Academy’s outside walls.
“I had the pleasure of having Charles (Billich) on campus and we did work on an idea that we will pursue with vigor,” said Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. “The plan is to place a giant clock on the outside wall of our atrium. The numbers will be represented by athletic figures.”
Some details about the project, such as a timeline for construction, are still being worked out.
Pictured are examples of some clocks painted by Charles Billich that may become part of a new mural in the Academy’s atrium.
In 1998 for the Academy’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, great Spanish artist Cristóbal Gabarrón painted “A Tribute to the Human Spirit” on the face of the main building. The mural is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in professional baseball. At 27-feet (two stories) high and 12-feet wide, the mural by Gabarrón, 1992 Sports Artist of the Year, is one of the largest public offerings of art in the United States.
Then in October 2008, Robert Wyland, America’s premier marine life artist who is known as the “Marine Michelangelo,” painted a mural of three dolphins swimming on the Academy’s east entrance. Wyland’s “Whaling Walls,” a series of 100 murals in more than 70 cities throughout the world, is the largest on-going arts in public places project by a single individual.
Billich has become known worldwide for his surrealist artwork. He was named the Official Artist for the Australian team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and also has been a recipient of the coveted Spoleto Award in Italy.
Currently, the Academy’s featured exhibit in its main gallery is 16 of some of the most recent works by Billich. This body of work titled, “Bing Mah Yong,” exposes the sport of the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, who reigned from 246 B.C.–210 B.C. Billich is “manipulating reality” in the exhibit by featuring the terra cotta soldiers of ancient China as modern Olympians.
His art works are held in the most illustrious collections and museums around the world, from the Australian Embassy, Japan, and The Royal Collection of Thailand, to the United Nations, New York, and the Vatican.