Originally created 07/02/99

Exhibit captures athletics

Jennifer Thompson, 17, of Grovetown admires Record Breakers, an acrylic painting by Arne Roald Bradstock, at the Augusta-Richmond County Museum, part of a Georgia Games preparation exhibit.

Untitled: Print No. 3, by Savannah photographer Cheng-Chung Wu, is just one example of the exhibit, presented by the Georgia State Games Commission and the Greater Augusta Arts Council.

Prints, paintings, sculpture, etchings and various other media have been employed by artists from across the state -- including several from the Aiken-Augusta area -- to capture the beauty of sport.

"We at the Georgia Games believe that athletics is art," said Nick Gailey, state chairman of the games. "Rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, artistic gymnastics, track and field -- when you really watch something like the pole vault or the discus, you see that it's an art form. You watch somebody go across an 8-foot, 2-inch circle at full speed on their toes, circling with a discus that's two or three pounds, and explode up with it... all the while spinning and moving across that circle, without going outside of It.

"We call it Art in Motion because we believe sports and athletics are, in fact, art in motion."

The exhibit, displayed free to the public in the museum's rotunda, encompasses a variety of sports, as well as artistic styles.

Cyclists whir past in a blur of motion in an oil painting by Augusta's Elaine Pelosi.

Yellow gilds red and green frontrunners in a sharp, prismatic view in a painting by Arne Roald Bradstock of Atlanta. A girl curls floating in the cool, watery womb of a swimming pool, a stream of air escaping her mouth in bubbles in a photo by Corrine Adams of Atlanta.

"It's been interesting to see how people have come up with some of their portrayals of sport," said Cindy O'Brien, arts council director. "And there really is a spectrum of mixed media. We didn't put any restrictions on the medium, but sport had to be the main theme. And there's all kinds of sport -- from hockey to swimming to one of the children's works with jump-rope."

The children's pieces, selected as "best of show" in a May exhibit, line the entrance walls, done in as many different media as their adult counterparts, but echoing the same concepts.

To the Finish Line, a creation in marker by second-grade student Jasmine Morris -- featuring a black woman striding toward the completion of a race -- echoes the bright colors and underlying themes of Each One, Teach One... Pass It On by adult artist Charlotte Riley Webb, in which a black woman passes the relay stick to a girl at her heels.

The exhibit will remain in place until July 29. Organizers are hoping that hundreds of people will come to see it and explore the rest of the museum during the Games, which are scheduled from July 21 to July 25.

The museum is at the corner of Sixth and Broad streets. For information, call 722-8454.

Alisa DeMao can be reached at (706) 823-3223 or ademao@augustachronicle.com.


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