Meet the 2018 Olympic Artists in Residence
Every two years, the world stops and rather than focusing on negativity, comes together to appreciate talent (albeit very temporarily). All across the globe, people are focused on figure skating and swimming and running and gymnastics and curling, rooting for their own country’s athletes while admiring everyone. From 1912 to …
Every two years, the world stops and rather than focusing on negativity, comes together to appreciate talent (albeit very temporarily). All across the globe, people are focused on figure skating and swimming and running and gymnastics and curling, rooting for their own country’s athletes while admiring everyone. From 1912 to 1948, the Olympics weren’t just for athletes. They were also for artists. All art competitions had to fit within the theme of sports, but medals were still awarded for architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture.
French Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic games, was a big proponent of Olympic art. He wanted to, “reunite in the bonds of legitimate wedlock a long-divorced couple — Muscle and Mind.” Although he did not succeed in achieving this goal for the first modern games (Athens 1896), medals were awarded for artistic disciplines in Stockholm in 1912. The art competitions ended in 1949 because most of the entrants were professional artists, as professionals were not allowed to compete at the time. This year, there will be a group of Olympic Athletes who are also artists. Although they will not be competing for medals, four former athletes are officially Olympic Artists in Residence.
Alexi Pappas is a Greek-American distance runner and is still currently a professional athlete. She competed in the 2016 Olympic Games. Pappas is also a filmmaker and will be working on a series of short films with her fiance and creative partner Jeremy Teicher.
“It’s important to me as an athlete to tell a story that is cinematic and fictional but could have really happened and does reflect the true experience there,” Ms. Pappas said. “It feels like my background as an athlete and a filmmaker are coming together at this intersection.” – Alexei Pappas
Roald Bradstock, “The Olympic Picasso,” is a British javelin thrower who competed in hand-painted outfits during the 2008 Olympic trials. He competed in the 1984 and 1988 games. During this Olympics, he will work with Jean-Blaise Evéquoz, a professional painter and former Swiss Fencer who participated in the 1976 Olympics, and Lanny Barnes, an American biathlete (Olympic competitor in 2006, 2010, and 2014) who became a professional artist in 2000. They will oversee the painting of 16 pieces by current Olympians. There will be one for each of the 15 Olympic events and one wild card. Bradstock will set up a blank Canvas in the Olympic Village and give Athletes paint and creative freedom.