United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich received the Art Patron Award at the 10th Annual Greater Mobile Arts Awards.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) and Art Committee Secretary Leigha Bolton with the Mobile Arts Council's Art Patron of the Year Award.

Dr. Rosandich was recognized for his work in establishing the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) in 1984, which has grown into arguably the largest sport art museum in the world. He also started the Sports Sculpture Park on the campus grounds that feature many large sculptures done by Fairhope, Ala., found object artist Bruce Larsen, the Academy’s 2009 Sport Artist of the Year.

In addition, the Academy annually holds its Awards of Sport show that is a tribute to “the artist and the athlete.” This year’s Sport Artists of the Year are the talented Charles Billich, an Australian painter who is a two-time winner of this award, and California sculptor Edward Eyth, whose piece “Balance,” won the 2008 United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport and Art Contest.

Mobile Arts Council Executive Director Robert Burnett said he could not think of a more deserving winner of the annual award.

“What he has created and done here is truly amazing and, if you are unaware of him or his sports art museum, you have to go see it,” Burnett said at the award presentation held at the Saenger Theatre in Mobile, Ala.

Dr. Rosandich said he was honored for being recognized as Art Patron of the Year.

“I am very grateful and pleased to receive this award,” said Dr. Rosandich, who serves on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Culture and Olympic Education Commission. “I’ve recognized the importance of the cultural connectivity of athletic competition and artistic expression since its inception. I have had a long commitment to the arts that continues to this day.”