Artist Nadeau will feature painting in Park City’s Olympic celebration
April 1, 2014
When Park City celebrates the Sochi Olympic athletes with a parade and other events on Saturday, the town will have the opportunity to see the art of world-renowned painter Josee Nadeau.
The work she created for the occasion depicts the four winter sports that Park City-based Olympians — Joss Christensen, Sage Kotsenburg, Ted Ligety and Steve Halcomb — won medals in Sochi earlier this year.
Nadeau, a Park City resident and protégé of Gerald Van der Kemp, curator of the Palace of Louis XIV and the man who saved the Mona Lisa from the Nazis, has painted works for Harry Belafonte, Dionne Warwick’s 50th anniversary celebration and the Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest gala that served as a benefit for Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance.
She approached the Youth Winter Sports Alliance (YSA), the organization that is overseeing Saturday’s event, and said she was interested in painting a piece for the parade.
"They were delighted," Nadeau told The Park Record. "We got together and decided that a large painting would be perfect and that we would only include the gold medalists. It was a big toss up as we wanted to include all of the Olympians but this way, we focused on the local medalists."
Originally, the artist wanted to do one painting as a personal gift for Christensen, who is the roommate of her sons Philippe William and Nicholas Grant.
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"I actually told Joss that I would do a painting to honor him when he went to Sochi," Nadeau said. "Then all the other Park City Olympians won their medals and I knew I had to continue the flow of the Olympic theme. This was a natural thing to do."
The poster suggestion came from Shelly Gillwald, who has worked for many years with YSA and who organized the last Olympic parade in 2010, Nadeau said.
The painting also has a more personal meaning to the artist.
"As a mother of two boys who grew up here and who are part of the sports scene, both of them were very much involved in the project.
"Philippe William was the visionary," Nadeau said. "I created the composition of the painting and then it was so cool, because they really looked at the image I’m painting and told me how a snowboard trick is done, so I can make the image more accurate. They are so in tune with the jumps and the spirit of the tricks that it was a fun and natural collaboration."
While Nadeau painted the full poster that includes an image of Christensen’s two-pound Sochi gold medal, her youngest, Nicholas, recreated the intricate design that is found on the glass in the middle of the actual medal.
"The design is very detailed and like a tattoo," Nadeau said. "Since Nicholas is very tight with his drawing skill, it was obvious it would be a great opportunity for him to work with me on the painting."
Nadeau was especially interested in depicting the medal correctly because her father was once the master of the Royal Canadian Mint and her first job was being a tour guide at the mint at the age of 16.
"My father would oversee projects come to fruition such as commemorative coins for past Olympic games, the Bullion gold coins, and many more," Nadeau said. "I grew up knowing about the creation of coins and medals. So to have my sons involved in this painting continues that line for me and our family."
The YSA will also print 1,000 posters of the painting to be distributed to people throughout the parade by the Olympians, Nadeau said.
Sponsors include the St. Regis Deer Valley, the Kimball Art Center, Flanagan’s and, of course, the YSA.
SKY, where Nadeau is currently exhibiting some of her other works, will host the Olympic celebration press conference and VIP event prior to the parade.
"When I think in my hometown that 1,000 posters as a memory of the great achievements of our heroes will be given out to the community, I am most honored and so are my boys," Nadeau said.
The Park City Olympic celebration will be held on Saturday, April 5, beginning at 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.ysapc.org . High-resolution giclées on canvas signed and embellished by the artist in larger and smaller scales are available by contacting Nadeau by email email@example.com or visiting http://www.joseenadeau.com .
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