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Cultural Connections Captivates Crowds
On February 2, French Olympian Kader Klouchi captivated a sold-out audience to the first Cultural Connections seminar at Art of the Olympians Museum and Gallery.
Cultural Connections, a monthly series of intimate conversations, provides an arena for the public to connect with community leaders as well as Olympians, artists and philanthropists as they share visions, accomplishments, and their contributions to building a sense of community—either locally or globally.
Klouchi shared personal stories of his journey to becoming an Olympian as well as his perspectives on sport, art and culture.
From an early age, Klouchi had a passion for sport. During the evening’s conversation, he joked that his first sport dream was to be a basketball star but he was too short.
He later began trying different sports and eventually gravitated to the sport of long jump. Virtually self-taught in the sport, Klouchi worked tirelessly to do his best. Coaches viewed him as an underdog, but Klouchi’s love of sport and talent took him to the 1992 Olympic Games as a participant for Algeria in long jump. Klouchi is also a two-time French National Record holder and a three-time World Champion.
Like many Olympian athletes, Klouchi transitioned his love of sport into a passion for the arts, particularly focused on the artistic beauty of action. The bold colors and long strokes provide a kinetic quality to Klouchi’s work is evidenced by the way the movement of each figure is captured to reveal the spirit of athleticism and a moment in which the authentic beauty of the effort and strength are reunited.
In a special surprise to the Cultural Connections audience, Klouchi exhibited his technique through a live painting.
When asked what the painting of a runner would be titled, Klouchi smiled and said “Finished.”
The painting sold on the spot.
Klouchi’s exhibit, A Spirit Unleashed, will be on display in the Olympian Art Gallery at the Art of the Olympians Museum and Gallery at the Al Oerter Center for Excellence at 1300 Hendry St., Fort Myers through March. The exhibit features several new pieces and originals are available for sale.
The celebration for the 2012 Olympic Games continues on February 29, as AOTO welcomes Italian Olympian Emanuela Pierantozzi. Pierantozzi has won numerous European and World championship competitions as well as being a two-time medalist in the Olympics and a member of the Italian Olympic Committee. The conversation will be followed by a short performance by renowned Italian pianist, Nadia Fanzaga. The evening concludes with a judo demonstration and a sparring event with Mayor Randy Henderson and Sherriff Mike Scott. Tickets are $30 for members, $50 for non-members. Seating is limited. For more information call 239-332-5055.
Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Gallery is closed to on Sundays, Mondays and holidays. For general Museum information, visit our web site www.artoftheolympians.org. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/
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Olympians promoting the highest ideals of humanity with their creative talents through the sport/art relationship by providing programs of art, education, sport and cultural outreach to inspire the world. Art of the Olympians is a 501(c ) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Fort Myers, Fla.