The centerpiece of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame exhibit is the collection of original watercolor portraits of the Honored Members. Each piece of artwork depicts the essence of the inductee, both from a personal and competitive perspective. Currently more than 70 portraits anchor the collection of original art on display at the Hall of Fame exhibit in The OmniPlex Center in Oklahoma City.
About the Artist — Sam Bailie, Jr.
After beginning a career in graphic design and illustration, Sam Bailie,Jr., realized true fulfillment could only come from creating his own artwork. While earning a bachelor's of fine art at the University of Arizona he experimented with a variety of styles. He quickly focused on the realistic portrayal of that which he sees on a daily basis, family, nature, life. Oils were the medium of choice in his early years in order to create fine detail. However, a fascination with the works of Andrew Wyeth caused him to explore the use of watercolors to achieve the same detailed, controlled style he had developed with oils. Sam begins a work with a wet, loose method of painting, but then switches to a dry brush technique enabling him to achieve a "drawing with paint" effect that produces the desired detail. Upon completion of a work, parts will have been reworked numerous times. Slow and tedious, this technique often requires more than 250 hours to complete a painting. In the tradition of Georges Seurat, however, he has always insisted on quality over quantity. His works have been exhibited in many shows, the most recent:
- 125th International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society
- 18th Exhibition National Watercolor Oklahoma
- "Best of Show" Richardson Civic Art Society 27th Regional Art Show
- 22nd Annual International Exhibit Louisiana Watercolor Society
- Watercolor USA, National Exhibition
- "Honorable Mention" 8th Annual Exhibition Irving Art Association
Tracy Lee – Official Artist, 2009 Inductees
Tracy’s heritage is deeply rooted in the Southern United States and her teen years were spent in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, along the Wasatch front. These cultural influences brought strong progressive work ethics and an ardent appreciation for the arts into Tracy’s life. As a young woman, Tracy resided in France. The beautiful architecture of the Cote D’Azur and rich treasures of L’artist Renaissance were inspirational to her. Several decades later while attending a symposium on art, Tracy decided she wanted to become an artist herself. She purchased the necessary tools and began her career. In her first two years as a portrait artist, she was commissioned to paint over 400 portraits. She has worked full time with her husband, internationally renowned photographer G. Michael Lee since 1997. Together they own and operate Angel Shots Photography. She is thrilled with the opportunity to paint the accomplished gymnasts of the world and looks forward to a long and pleasant relationship with the Hall.