Exhibition will showcase Trojans’ artistic talents

As members of the prestigious Trojan athletic program, USC’s finest student-athletes are rarely displayed in a light which depicts them as anything other than competitors inside the white lines.

Hidden talent · Junior outside hitter Tri Bourne will have his artwork featured inside the Galen Center’s Hall of Fame starting Feb. 11. - Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information

But thanks in large part to the family of USC alumnus Louis Galen and the Roski School of Fine Arts, 18 USC athletes are again getting the opportunity to display their abilities on a much different type of canvas — the Louis Galen ARTLETICS Exhibition.

Whereas a swimming pool, tennis court or football field usually allows for these individuals to showcase their talents to large audiences, these individuals will now be performing on a stage, which celebrates their artistic passion and creativity in fields such as drawing, painting, ceramics, design and digital photography.

This collaborative project by the USC Athletic Department and the Roski school will be the fifth endeavor of its type on campus and will run from Feb. 11 to March 21 inside the Galen Center’s Hall of Fame.

The highly-accomplished list of athletes who will be presenting their works of art at this year’s annual exhibition spans over 11 different varsity sports: football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, track and field, men’s water polo, men’s and women’s tennis, rowing, women’s golf, swimming and cross country.

This year’s group includes: Marlena Adamska (rowing), Victoria Alimonda (golf), Iskra Angelova (rowing), Tri Bourne (volleyball), Ashley Corral (basketball), Robert Erickson (football), Robert Farah (tennis), Brett Giery (water polo), Sophie Gosper (swimming), Dina Hegazy (swimming), Matt Kecki (tennis), Rebecca Lett (cross country), Vanni Mangoni (swimming), Katalin Mate (track and field), Dalilah Muhammad (track and field), Mitch Mustain (football), Valeria Pulido (tennis) and Scott Stephens (football).

Among the notable members of the list of athletes are Farah and Kecki, who were on last year’s NCAA national championship men’s tennis team and Mangoni, who went on to win the Pac-10 400-yard swimming individual medley in 2008.

Mustain served as the backup quarterback the past two seasons for the football team, Giery played on the back-to-back national championship men’s volleyball team in 2008 and 2009, Corral currently leads the Women of Troy’s basketball team in scoring and Bourne was an outside hitter on last year’s NCAA runner-up men’s volleyball team.

Erickson and Stephens have appeared in special teams action for the Trojans, and Mate and Muhammad are versatile track and field athletes. Mate, a transfer from Auburn, placed fourth in the discus at the 2008 NCAA championships. Muhammad finished third in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in the 2009 NCAA championships.

This year’s crop of artists also includes two student-athletes who are no strangers to ARTLETICS — Hegazy and Mangoni. Both Hegazy and Mangoni have now been part of the last three Galen art exhibitions.

While Hagazy’s accomplishments are well-documented in the pool; her artistic résumé illustrates how, despite a rigorous schedule, she is not afraid to swim the extra lap. Last year, her work was selected for an exhibit featuring art by NCAA student-athletes shown at the NCAA Convention in Washington D.C. and at the NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis.

An open reception to honor the ARTLETIC recipients will be held at the Galen Center at noon Feb. 24 and will be free and open to the public.

The exhibition will be available for viewing during all athletic events held at the Galen Center, or by appointment.