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Artists provide aesthetic appeal to athletic event

“Art at the Arnold,” a painting and drawing competition at the Arnold Sports Festival, will feature artists providing a more aesthetic look at professional athletes.


“We have put together a three-day art competition using athletes as models,” said event chairman Kevin Buckland. “It’s about the beauty of the athletic form.”


He said the art contest will consist of a figure painting session, an all-day studio session and a day for the art show and judging.


During the first day, artists will have access to three models that will pose for four hours. They are also encouraged to explore the 44 competitions and events at the Sports Festival, said Karen LaValley, an artist participating in the contest. The artists will compile sketches and photos of the events to use as a reference during the studio session.


“On Saturday (studio session) one model will also be available to pose for those who wish to paint again from a live model,” LaValley said. “Other participants may use their photographs to create their pieces from competition.”


This is the second year for “Art at the Arnold.”


“It was obvious that both the artists and the spectators enjoyed the display of talent in action,” Buckland said.


He added that former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger purchased a piece of art from the contest, “which added to the excitement.”


All work must be completed at the Arnold event, LaValley said.


“On Sunday the assigned juror will judge the submitted pieces of art and the winners will be announced,” she said.


This year Denny Griffith, president of the Columbus College of Art and Design, will judge the contest and choose the top three pieces.


All of the paintings and drawings will be for sale and cash prizes will be awarded to the top artists.


“Arnold himself will also view the works and may purchase some pieces,” LaValley said.


After he views the art show on Sunday, Schwarzenegger will select an “Arnold’s Choice Award” for the piece he enjoys the most, Buckland said.


Last year LaValley painted a “wild piece” of two female fitness athletes and a professional wrestler, she said. She is enthusiastic about participating again this year.


“I am looking forward to this event with excitement and hope,” she said. “We will see what happens. You know that old saying about ‘any given Sunday.'”

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