Art of the Olympians

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A school class pose for a photo during an AOTO workshop break. Aoto111.JPG
A school class pose for a photo during an AOTO workshop break.

Art of the Olympians (AOTO) is an organization and program of Olympian and Paralympian artists that promotes the Olympic ideals of values, integrity, character, respect, honor, and work ethic through exhibitions and educational programs. [1] It puts on traveling exhibitions, runs workshops, organizes talks at schools, [2] [3] to show and discuss the connection between sport, art, and the Olympics. AOTO previously operated a museum.


AOTO is a program of the non-profit Al Oerter Foundation. [4]


Art of the Olympians museum in Fort Myers, Florida, circa 2010 AOTO circe 2010.JPG
Art of the Olympians museum in Fort Myers, Florida, circa 2010

Art of the Olympians was founded in 2006 by American Olympic gold medalist discus thrower and artist Al Oerter, who died in 2007. [5] [6] In 2006, the organization put on a touring exhibition of Art by Olympians. [7] Art of the Olympians put on an exhibition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. [8] AOTO also held a 2008 exhibition at the Rauschenberg Gallery, Edison College in Fort Myers, Florida. [9]

In January 2010, the organization opened the Art of the Olympians Museum and the Al Oerter Center for Excellence in downtown Fort Myers, Florida. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

In February 2010 Art of the Olympians held an exhibition at the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. In 2011, graphic artist and former long jumper Bob Beamon became the CEO of the Art of the Olympians Museum and Gallery. [15] [16]

During the 2012 London summer Olympics AOTO held two international exhibitions in the United Kingdom. The first was held at the University College of London and the second was held in Torbay on the south coast of England. [5] [17] [18] [19]

On July 16, 2013, CEO Bob Beamon released an open letter directed to the museum's board announcing his resignation. On July 17, after 3 and a half years, the Art of the Olympians museum and the Al Oerter Center for Excellence closed its doors. [20] [21] On the AOTO website they posted an announcement: "It's time to reorganize and restructure the foundation. A new direction focused on National and International Exhibitions programs will further the vision of the founder." Cathy Oerter, Al Oerter's widow, is currently the CEO of Art of the Olympians. [22]

In December 2015, Roald Bradstock became the Executive Director of the Al Oerter Foundation (AOF) and Art of the Olympians. [23] And on December 2, Prince Albert ll of Monaco became the Trustee of the Al Oerter Foundation [24] and Art of the Olympians.

In March 2016, Bradstock was interviewed on BBC Radio Two and then CNN International World Sport. He announced that AOTO was marking their ten-year anniversary by launching a global campaign and search for new Olympian and Paralympian artists.

On April 25, 2017, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach appointed Bradstock to the Olympic Culture and Heritage Commission. [25]

On September 12, 2018 The World Olympians Association (WOA) announced the formation of a new WOA Arts Committee called "OLY Arts". Roald Bradstock was appointed the Chair of the new Committee. Fellow AOTO artists Emanuela Pierantozzi and Shane Gould joined Bradstock on the Arts Committee along with WOA President Joël Bouzou, WOA Executive Committee Member Natalie Cook and Olympian artists Pat Burgener (musician) and Takahiro Fujimoto (actor). Diane de Coubertin - granddaughter of Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games - and Francis Gabet, Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage were the final two other Committee members.

Olympian artists

Numerous Olympians and Paralympians have contributed works to the foundation: [26]

  1. Rink Babka – Painting
  2. Carl Borack – Film / Video / Photography
  3. Roald Bradstock – Painting / Drawing / Collage / Performance Art
  4. Greg Burns – Painting
  5. Chris Coleman – Photography
  6. Skip Cutting – Painting
  7. Joseph Dube – Painting
  8. Jean-Blaise Evéquoz – Painting
  9. Peggy Fleming – Painting
  10. Simon Goody – Painting
  11. Shane Gould – Photography
  12. Martin Hagen – Sculpture
  13. Florence Griffith-Joyner – Painting
  14. Kader Klouchi – Painting
  15. Bill Kund – Photography
  16. Queen Kyomo – Dancing
  17. Nancy Lewington – Photography
  18. Vincent Mathews – Mixed Media
  19. Lucia Medzihradská – Mixed Media
  20. Tony Moore – Poet
  21. Cameron Myler – Photography
  22. Al Oerter – Painting
  23. Emanuela Pierantozzi – Sculpture
  24. Peter Schifrin – Sculpture
  25. Kate Schmidt – Painting
  26. John Stillings – Painting
  27. Allison Wagner – Painting
  28. Larry Young – Sculpture
  29. Wojciech Zablocki – Watercolor
  30. Lynda Blutriech – Photography
  31. Robin Cousins – Performer
  32. Neil Eckersley – Painter, Digital Artist
  33. Kevin McMahon – Digital Media
  34. Tasha Danvers – Painter, Singer
  35. Chris Channon – Poet
  36. Breaux Greer – Photography
  37. Brenden Reilly – Drawing, Painting
  38. Bob Beamon – Graphic Artist
  39. Amy Acuff – Model, Painter
  40. Rafer Johnson – Actor
  41. Gary Visconti – Painter
  42. Shevon Stoddart – Singer
  43. Birgit Fischer – Photography
  44. Eric Josjö – Photography
  45. Jamie Nieto – Actor, Writer, Director
  46. Alex Fong – Singer, Actor
  47. Michelle Campi – Painter, Poet
  48. Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg – Photographer, Singer
  49. Cheung Ho Lun [27] – Painter
  50. Kevin Young – Drawing
  51. Corinna West – Poetry
  52. Pauline Gardiner – Painter
  53. Jennifer Chandler – Painter
  54. Reynaldo Brown – Photography
  55. Shannon Miller – Writer
  56. Lanny Barnes – Drawing
  57. John Herbert – Graphic Design
  58. Ben Nighthorse Campbell – Jewelry
  59. Joseph Joyce – Painter
  60. Michael Murray - Painter


Board of directors

The foundation has a board of directors: [29]

Executive Directors

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  23. "Art of the Olympians | Executives". Retrieved 2015-12-20.
  24. "Art of the Olympians | Trustee". Retrieved 2015-12-20.
  25. "IOC Announces Composition of Its Commissions – 38 Percent of Members Now Women", International Olympic Committee, 25 April 2017
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  27. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-08-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  29. "AOF Directors". Art of the Olympians. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
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