Greek Artist Mina Paptheodorou -Valyraki’s painting “The Cyclist’ is housed in the American Sport Art and Museum and Archives in Daphne, Ala.
The Academy’s 2002 Sport Artist of the Year, Mina Paptheodorou -Valyraki, is known world-wide for her abstract expressionist works of art featuring a variety of subjects from athletes to automobiles.
In 1998, Valyraki received one of the many notable honors of her career when she was commissioned as the official painter of the 35th anniversary of the Italian sports car brand, Lamborghini. Her nearly 60-foot long painting, “La Storia Della Lamborghini” continues to adorn the Lamborghini headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese today. Valyraki was nominated as Lamborghini’s official artist and admiringly nicknamed, “The High Priestess of Ferrari.”
The American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) in Daphne, Ala., is home to 74 of Valyraki’s paintings. She has served as a member of the Academy’s Board of Visitors and Board of Trustees Emerita since 2007.
Valyraki’s pieces can be viewed in museums across the globe such as the National Gallery in Athens, the Olympic Museum of Lausanne and the United Nations Building in New York, N.Y. Valyraki’s acrylic painting, “Still Life in Yellow” became a permanent piece in the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C in February of 2001.
Her work, “The Downhill Skier” became one of the official posters for that year’s Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. In 2003, five of her paintings were included in a stamp collection issued by the Greek Post Office celebrating the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Valyraki’s paintings were also featured on the official 2004 Olympic Games calendar and several of the official posters. One of her pieces also covered the official poster for the 58th Grand Prix of Monaco.
In her home town of Athens, Greece, Valyraki earned a degree in painting from the Supreme School of Fine Arts of the National Technical University of Athens in 1980 and a degree in theoretical studies from the School of Fine Arts of Athens soon after. In 1981, Valyraki moved to Florence, Italy, to further her education by earning a Ph.D. in History of Art from the University of Florence.
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.
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.