Accomplished Greek painter Mina Papatheodorou Valyraki has donated several signed and numbered silk prints to the American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) on the campus of the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala.
Recognized as the Academy’s 2002 Sport Artist of the Year, Valyraki is known worldwide for her abstract expressionist paintings featuring a variety of subjects from athletes to automobiles.
The artist’s donated silk prints depict red Ferrari automobiles, sailboats, and Olympic competition. They join a large assortment of other pieces from the artist on display at ASAMA, including her “Daphne and Apollo,” which is featured prominently in the museum’s main lobby.
Valyraki’s pieces can be viewed across the globe in such locales as the National Gallery in Athens, the Olympic Museum of Lausanne and the United Nations Building in New York, N.Y. Valyraki’s acrylic painting, “Still Life in Yellow,” became a permanent piece in the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
In 2013, she was awarded the Guirlande d’Honneur, the highest award presented by the Federation Internationale Cinema Television Sportifs (FICTS), an organization that promotes the values of sport through film and television. In 2017 she received the FICTS Mention D’Honneur Award in Arts and Sports. She won the International Olympic Committee’s 2014 Art and Sport Award.
Her work, “The Downhill Skier,” became one of the official posters for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. In 2003, five of her paintings were included in a stamp collection issued by the Greek Post Office celebrating the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Her paintings were also featured on the official 2004 Olympic Games calendar and official posters.
In 1998, Valyraki received one of many notable honors of her career when she was commissioned as the official painter of the 35th anniversary of the Italian sports car brand, Lamborghini. Her nearly 60-foot long painting, “La Storia Della Lamborghini,” continues to adorn the Lamborghini headquarters.
Valyraki has become internationally known for her ability to capture the movement of athletes and to instill in her work a sense of perpetual motion through the use of impressionist technique, vibrant color, precise lighting, and gifted brush stroke.
A native of Athens, Greece, Valyraki earned degrees in painting from the Supreme School of Fine Arts of the National Technical University of Athens and in theoretical studies from the School of Fine Arts of Athens. She earned a Ph.D. in History of Art from the University of Florence, Italy.