Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Laurels for Sports Art

In Greek mythology, Daphne's demise inspired creation of laurels.

If there are laurels for Olympic and sports art, it's appropriate Daphne, Ala., is the U.S. hometown for such honors.

The other day I stumbled upon a news item about the Daphne-based American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA). According to the story, ASAMA recently received a five-ringed donation of numerous (and very valuable) Official Reports for several Olympic Games. Score!

They also unveiled a large statue honoring Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin.

A bit about ASAMA from their website:

Located on the campus of the U.S. Sports Academy ... the ASAMA collection is comprised of more than 1,000 pieces across all media including paintings, sculpture, prints, posters, photography and assemblage. The collection is believed to be the largest of sport art in North America and possibly the world. Also featured is the largest public art offering in the state of Alabama, the famed two-story tall mural by Maestro Cristóbal Gabarrón. “A Tribute to the Human Spirit” graces one wall of the main campus building and has become a landmark on the Eastern Shore [of Mobile Bay].

Scanning ASAMA's online details and virtual tour, it pleased me to learn the organization presents the annual Sports Artist of the Year Award, and I was doubly pleased to find family friend Bart Forbes among the first five recipients of these artsy laurels (his Seoul '88 Olympic stamps were paired with my Olympic Festival commemorative cancellations used by the U.S. Postal Service at U.S. Olympic Festival '89).

Neither Mobile, Ala., nor Daphne are destinations often on my radar, but I may just have to make a special trip to experience ASAMA in person. It's open weekdays and admission is free.

Anyone reading: Have you visited ASAMA and, if so, what did you enjoy most there?

Photos via ASAMA

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