EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) –- Capturing the Art of Sport through the Art of Sculpture, a Eugene-area artist brings his work back to the Olympic Trials after spending months sculpting some of the top athletes in the world.
A renowned Pacific Northwest artist, Mike Leckie has created three-dimensional portraits of four different track athletes. Leckie rendered Ashton Eaton in the midst of a long jump, Jesse Williams in a high jump, Sally Kip-Yego running the track and Nike Oregon Project and long-distance athlete Amy Yoder Begley competing. The portraits will be for sale at Leckie’s booth throughout the Trials.
Leckie started the process of creating each bas relief - sculpture in which figures project slightly from a usually flat background - in November 2011. He hopes the finished works capture the intensity and emotion of these star athletes’ shining moments.
Originally, the works are sculpted out of clay; Leckie then creates a rubber mold of each piece, which serve as the template for copies of the original. The rubber mold is then filled with plaster, creating a plaque that can be hung on a wall.
“These sculptures of them will last forever and people will probably recognize this sculpture more than the face of the athlete in twenty years which is huge. So the fact that they have allowed me to do this at this point in time is . . . I am honored beyond what I can say,” said Leckie.
The fifth sculpture that Mike produced for TrackTown 2012 is an exclusive photo reproduction of the historic east grandstand at Hayward Field. A paper poster of the three-dimensional image will sell for $20; the plaster castings sell for $95 each, which is a price drop from what Leckie last sold similar bas relief works at the Eugene 08 Track and Field Trials.
Leckie’s booth will be on the Super Block at the Trials, right along 15th Avenue near the Bowerman Building.