Some of the most celebrated sporting athletes, events and American pastimes created by a few of the United States Sports Academy’s Sports Artists of the Year are now on display at the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan, Ala.
You can see, for example, “Crimson Rose,” by Tuscaloosa, Ala., painter Rick Rush, the Academy’s 2011 Sport Artist of the Year. His colorful painting depicts the University of Alabama’s victory in the 2009 college football national championship game over the University of Texas.
Also part of the collection of more than two dozen pieces on display is Bart Forbes, “Dream Team,” painting that captures the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team, nicknamed the “Dream Team,” because it was the first team with active NBA players, such as Michael Jordan, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Charles Barkley.
The Wiregrass Museum of Art is highlighting the sports artworks of seven Southern Sports Artists borrowed from the collection of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives in Daphne, Ala. ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, arguably holds the largest collection of sport art in the world with nearly 2,000 pieces.
The Wiregrass exhibit, “Southern Sports Art,” is on display through Feb. 23, 2013 and is open free to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
A recent reception to kickoff the exhibit on Oct. 4 attracted about 40 people to view the art. In addition, the Academy donated three pieces to Wiregrass in appreciation: “Shutout” by Daniel Moore, “Super Cam,” by Rush and “Spirit of the Bay,” by Cristóbal Gabarrón.
The exhibition at the Dothan, Ala., museum features artwork by renowned sports artists from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. The prominent sports artists included in the Wiregrass exhibit are: Opie Otterstad, Forbes, Moore, Rush, Robert Zimlich, Roald Bradstock and Liston Bochette. This exhibition includes images highlighting a variety of Southern pastimes including football, fishing, basketball, golf and baseball.
The exhibit also features a piece by Otterstad, the Academy’s 2006 Sport Artist of the Year, that is a portrait of legendary golfer Ben Hogan. It is painted on thousands of lined-up golf tees. Hogan, who won nine career professional major championships, was the first of 27 similar portraits of golfers on tees that Otterstad created.
The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) was established in 1986 in the historic Water and Electric Building located in downtown Dothan. This building was built in 1912-1913 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum that serves Dothan and the Wiregrass Region occupies 18,000-square feet of gallery space. Original plans called for a $2.8 million, 30,000-square-foot museum.
ASAMA was established in 1984 by Academy Founder and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. Located in Daphne, Ala., the sports art museum is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
For more information about the exhibit or Wiregrass Museum, call 334-794-3871 or visit www.wiregrassmuseum.org. For more information about ASAMA, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.asama.org.