The United States Sports Academy is adding a seventh sculpture by Bruce Larsen, the United States Sports Academy’s 2009 Sport Artist of the Year, to its Sports Sculpture Park on its Daphne, Ala., campus.
Plans call for Larsen to create a cyclist who is racing in a triathlon, which also includes swimming and running legs. Larsen says the new sculpture will move, appearing as if the cyclist is pedaling. Because it will be the first sculpture to move, it will include a small motor.
Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich is financing the project personally for the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), which he founded in 1984 and today arguably holds the largest sport art collection in the world.
“I look forward to Bruce creating another one of his unique sculptures,” Rosandich says.
Dr. Rosandich says he would like to tie the unveiling of the new sculpture to an event, which may include a triathlon.
Larsen says he’s excited to start the project and has begun doing sketches of the cyclist that he says, like his other sculptures, will be 200 to 300 percent larger than life in size. The found object artist from Fairhope, Ala., is known for recycling scrap metal, motor parts and an odd assortment of other junk.
“I like that Dr. Rosandich has trusted me enough to give me total artistic license on all the sculptures at the Academy,” Larsen says. “I am toying with the possibility of making this piece kinetic which would add a unique element to the park.”
Already in the Sport Sculpture Park are other pieces Larsen fashioned from scrap metal, hubcaps, tractor gears, hydraulic cylinders and an assortment of other junk, including “Borzov the Sprinter,” “Arnold the Weightlifter,” “Jordan the Basketball Player,” “Nastia the Gymnast,” and the “Iron Bowl Monument.”
Last year, Larsen did the sculpture, “Mr. Baseball,” to mark the 40th anniversary celebration of the Academy, which is the largest graduate school of sport education in the world. It was placed by Larsen in a classic pose of a home run slugger from a bygone era, stands nearly 7-feet tall and weighs more than 500 pounds.
The sculptures can be viewed along with other works of art in the Academy’s sport art museum. ASAMA is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.