Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki

The paintings of Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, the 2002 American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, are being featured in a month-long exhibition in Florence, Italy. The exhibition is in honor of the FIFA World Cup.

The exhibit, which opened on 11 June at the Frascione Arte Gallery and will run until 11 July 2010, is titled “Football Portraits,” in which Valyraki is presenting a series of athletic themes featuring soccer. It also features soccer-themed paintings by Olivia Magris, Dino Boschi, Lorenzo Perrone, Frank O’, and the late Renato Guttouso.

A native of Athens, Greece, Valyraki graduated with distinction from Athens University Superior School of Fine Arts in 1980, where she studied under Yiannis Moralis and Lazaros Lameras. In 1981, Valyraki moved to Florence to continue her studies on the History of Art with a scholarship from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She earned a Ph.D from the University of Florence. Her work, “The Downhill Skier,” became one of the official posters for that year’s Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

The Sport Artist of the Year Award is presented 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 including film, video or sculpture 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 1,000 pieces across all forms of media, including painting, sculpture, assemblage, prints, posters and photography.

The Museum is free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm.