DAPHNE, Ala. — Accomplished Greek painter Dr. Mina Papatheodorou Valyraki, the United States Sports Academy’s 2002 Sport Artist of the Year, will be the featured artist at an upcoming international festival in Milan, Italy, celebrating the best in creative communication to advance sport during the 2016 Olympic year.
Valyraki, winner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 2014 Art and Sport Award, will be featured in an exhibition of her famous sports art at the Federation Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS) Milano Festival 2016 at the Palazzo Giureconsulti in Piazza Duomo.
Valyraki’s work will be shown at Sport Movies & TV 2016 – 34th Milano International FICTS Fest, which is the final competition of the FICTS Challenge World Championship of Television, Cinema, Culture and Sport Communication that takes place in Milan from 16 to 21 November 2016. The event includes an opening night celebration of her work on 16 November. The event will culminate on 21 November with the presentation by FICTS of the top global awards for sports television and cinema.
The event is organized by FICTS, which is represented by 114 member countries and dedicated to promoting the values of sport through creative media. FICTS is recognized by the IOC and chaired by Professor Franco Ascani, member of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Heritage.
Valyraki’s exhibition, titled “Art and Motion,” is taking place during the festival celebrating the Olympic Year 2016 through art. Among her works to be displayed in Milan will be Formula 1 racing cars and sports including sailing, swimming, hockey, and soccer. The exhibition of the Greek painter and stylist, who has collected awards from around the world, is sponsored by the Ethniki Insurance Company, the Greek National Insurance Company.
Valyraki has become internationally known for her ability to capture the movement of athletes and to instill in her work a sense of perpetual motion through the use of impressionist technique, vibrant color, precise lighting, and gifted brush stroke. She has not only done this with athletes, but with exotic racing automobiles, for which she has developed an international reputation and following. Her subjects, human and automotive, are said to not only to conquer the entire painting, but to exude a dynamism that extends beyond the frame.
“My works are what is retained by those who look at them and penetrate into them,” Valyraki said. “They become one with them. Then the ‘communicative code’ really takes shape.”
The Athens, Greece, native has a long history of exceptional sport art. She has numerous works in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, that were selected by Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch, a long-time admirer of her work. She was also “Honorary Artist” in Barcelona, Spain, in association with the 1992 Olympic Games. In 2003, her commemorative painting, “The Olympic Truce,” was installed at the United Nations in New York City. In 2004, her work became the official stamps and posters of the Athens Olympic Games. Her works are in numerous public and private collections, including those affiliated with automakers Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini, as exotic cars have been a focus of her work.
Valyraki lives in Athens, Greece, and Florence, Italy. She graduated from the Supreme School of Fine Arts of the National Technical University of Athens, and then earned her Ph.D. at the University of Florence. She has done more than 60 one-woman shows around the world.
Valyraki was named the Academy’s Sport Artist of the Year in 2002 and her work is featured in the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA).
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.
Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of nearly 2,000 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.
An organization recognized by the IOC, FICTS promotes and spreads the development of Olympic values and the culture of sports through the use of sports images in collaboration with members of the Olympic Family, international federations, national Olympic committees, Olympic museums, and Olympic academies. For information, go to www.sportmoviestv.com .