Nemeth Ferenc

Hungarian sculptor Nemeth Ferenc whose bronzes depict many sports legends has earned the United States Sports Academy’s 2012 Sport Artist of the Year Award.

Ferenc first rose to international prominence for his sculptures as a result of his success in the art competition at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Two of his exhibited works were bought by Juan Antonio Samaranch, the late president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and another sculpture went to the IOC museum.

For the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Ferenc created the street statue of “Olympic Pleasure” as a gift from Hungary. It was placed near the site of the ancient Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece, in view of the place where the Olympic Flame is lit every two years.

His cubist and constructivist styles depict many sports legends, such as Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, Joe Montana, Willie Mays, Pete Sampras, Carl Lewis and Michael Jordan, as well as tributes to other famous people, events, activities and causes. He also makes figural bronze reliefs of Greek mythological themes. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are among the many prominent collectors of Ferenc’s work.

Ferenc, who donated 179 sculptures to the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) in early 2011, plans to unveil 12 more sculptures when he attends the Academy’s Awards of Sport event scheduled Nov. 10.

The Sport Artist of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who captures the spirit and life of sport so that future generations can relive the drama of today’s competition. The recipient may use a variety of art media to depict the breadth and scope of both the agony and the ecstasy of sport.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,500 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.