Art By USC's Hegazy, Hextrum Featured By NCAA

Jan. 5, 2009

USC swimmer Dina Hegazy and Trojan rower Robin Hextrum are among 20 NCAA student-athlete artists who are being featured in Champion Magazine and will be included in a special show at the NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C., Jan. 13-17, that spotlights student-athletes' talents on canvasses and in kilns instead of on fields and courts.

The first-of-its-kind art show at the Gaylord National is called 'Statements' and features the work of the following student-athletes:

* Robin Hextrum, Southern California (rowing, painting)
* Julia Hopson, Fredonia State (track, illustration and photography)
* Anya Rosen, Carnegie Mellon (soccer, painting)
* Karyn Jordahl, Edgewood (volleyball, photography)
* Adrienne Spivak, Occidental (soccer, painting)
* Tim Rusterholz, Virginia Commonwealth (track, sculpture)
* Nubia Garcia, Montana State (basketball, photography)
* Dexter Larimore, Ohio State (football, sculpture)
* Sarah Lee, Chapman (water polo, photography)
* Derek Cheng, Johns Hopkins (track, sculpture and illustration)
* Allison LaChance, RIT (rowing, painting and illustration)
* Kristina Baskett, Utah (gymnastics, photography)
* Kurt Gardiner, Greensboro (soccer, painting)
* Julie Rader, Oklahoma State (track, fashion design and jewelry)
* Jessie Gallagher, Lycoming (swimming, photography)
* Nick Schneiders, South Carolina Upstate (basketball, graphic design)
* Whitney Taylor, Bowling Green (basketball, photography and illustration)
* Allison Papko, Bethel (Minnesota) (ice hockey, illustration and graphic design)
* Brittany King, Wheaton (Massachusetts) (lacrosse, painting)
* Dina Hegazy, Southern California (swimming, photography)

The first 13 student-athletes will be featured in the January print issue of the NCAA's Champion magazine (the others will be represented in the online version of the publication), including personal statements about their work, how it relates to their athletics accomplishments, and self-portraits that are in many cases as creative as the work itself. Some of the student-athlete work is sports-related, but most reflects other aspects of life.

'We're all familiar with the tagline on the NCAA's promotional ads that say `There are more than 400,000 student-athletes and most of them will go pro in something other than sports' - well, this is a visual manifestation of that,' said the NCAA's Damon Schoening, who as director of brand strategies and events is co-directing the show. 'This is a chance to display the talents of a cross-section of student-athletes diverse in sport, division and background. They truly represent what the NCAA is all about.'

Arnel Reynon from the design and print firm Sport Graphics in Indianapolis is assisting Schoening. 'The work represented in the show will appeal to a wide-ranging audience,' Reynon said. 'It is a very national collection that includes an entire spectrum of media - from oil and acrylic on canvas to digital photography and clay. While the NCAA membership at the Convention already knows that student-athletes have many skills beyond athletics completion, the show will be a visual reaffirmation of that notion.'

The concept of a show emerged after Champion magazine solicited the student-athlete population through listservs and conference and institutional sports information directors for accomplished student-athlete artists. Almost two dozen were selected from more than 100 worthy nominees.

Many of the student-athletes have displayed their works in other forums. Works by USC's Hextrum and Hegazy have appeared in an on-campus show called 'Artletics' that focuses entirely on student-athlete work.

'The student-athletes feel really good about this type of recognition,' said USC ceramics department head and Artletics director Karen Koblitz. 'They think, `Here I am being recognized for something besides athletics, which I've been recognized for my whole life.' It's an enlightening change of pace for them.'

Many of the student-athletes will attend the Statements show at the Convention and participate in an opening reception Wednesday, January 14, at 5 p.m. The show will be staged in the Café area located between the hotel's sleeping rooms and convention center.

Schoening said the show may be replicated in Indianapolis later this winter, though plans are preliminary at this point. The January issue of Champion will be distributed the week of Convention and be available online ( by January 19.

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