Olympic artists Martin Linson and Primo Angeli are the United States Sports Academy’s 2013 Sport Artists of the Year.
Linson is an emerging artist who won the United States’ first gold medal of the 2012 London Olympics with his sculpture paying tribute to the Paralympic athlete. Angeli is a world-renowned artist who the late International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch personally selected to create the official poster to commemorate the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games.
Both artists accepted their awards at the Academy’s annual Awards of Sport event, “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete,” on Nov. 1 at the university’s Daphne, Ala., campus.
The 36-year-old Linson won first prize in the IOC’s Sport and Art Contest in the sculpture category with his bronze, “Omnipotent Triumph” that was displayed at the London Games. The St. Charles, Mo., sculptor became the second American artist in the past three Olympiads to win the international art competition.
Selected from entries from 62 nations by an IOC jury with judges from five continents, Linson’s bronze sculpture features an Olympian crossing the finish line in his wheelchair with his arms uplifted in a triumphant “V” for victory pose.
Angeli, who founded and headed one of San Francisco’s oldest and largest design studios, won the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest. Angeli’s mixed-media illustration, “London Calling,” depicts the classic portrayal of the ancient Greek discus thrower, Discopolis, who wears an armband bearing the 2012 London Olympic. The piece integrates contemporary branding with ancient fine art for an Olympic celebration.
Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, a member of the IOC’s Culture and Olympic Education Commission, served on the judging committee for the art entered into the 2012 London Olympic Sport and Art Contest. The Academy president and CEO also founded in 1984 the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), which conducted by the U.S. contest in cooperation with the Art of the Olympians and under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). It was the fourth consecutive U.S. Olympic Sport and Art contest that the Academy’s ASAMA has overseen.
“These are two excellent artists who have embodied the Olympic Movement through their artworks,” Dr. Rosandich said. “We are honored and proud that they are our newest Sport Artists of the Year.”
The Sport Artist of the Year Award has been presented the past 28 years to an individual who captures the spirit and life of sport so that future generations can relive the drama of today’s competition. The recipients, which includes artists who are well-known throughout the world, use a variety of art media to depict the breadth and scope of both the agony and the ecstasy of sport.
ASAMA, a division of the Academy, is arguably the largest sport art collection in the world. The ASAMA collection is composed of nearly 1,700 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 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Linson qualified for the IOC art competition when he won the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest in February. Linson’s joined American Sergey Eylanbekov, whose sculpture, “Five Continents,” won the IOC Sport Art Competition for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Linson, who finished as the runner-up in the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest in 2008, has a unique style in the representation of the human anatomy that has brought him major commissions, such as the President of Lindenwood University. Linson has studied under well-known, St. Louis-area sculptors Harry Weber, the 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, and Don Wiegand. Linson has other works displayed in numerous private collections.
He teaches art at Lindenwood and The St. Louis Art Institute, and he is the owner of Linson Studios and Lighthouse Screen Printing.
Angeli, a creative director and designer, became a major player in the fields of branding, corporate identity, packaging and naming. He also has a long history as an Olympic artist with his piece for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He did official designs as well for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and for the U.S. Olympic Team for 1998 Nagano and 2000 Sydney.
Angeli has been busy finishing his latest book “Primo,” which is scheduled for release later this year. Already Angeli, whose designs have been featured in major publications throughout the world, has had two other books published—“Twelve Stories” by Rockport Press and “Making People Respond” by Madison Square Press.
His artwork can be found in permanent collections and exhibitions worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw Poster Collection, Centre Pompidou, the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Achenbach Collection at the Legion of Honor. In addition, he has been recognized for numerous awards.