Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center displays new exhibit, ‘Champions in Bronze’

Stephon Curry
Stephen Curry

UPPER MONTCLAIR – The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is pleased to announce the opening of  “Champions in Bronze”  – an exhibit of iconic sports sculptures by Marc Mellon, one of America’s foremost figurative sculptors.

Known for his portrait busts, commemorative statues and other works in bronze, Mellon’s works are highly recognizable throughout the sports world. They include the NBA MVP and WNBA MVP trophies, both of which will be featured among the 14 works in the exhibit. Legendary athletes such as Arthur Ashe, Mickey Mantle, Chris Evert and Michael Jordan have been recognized and honored with Mellon bronzes.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mellon’s sculptures over the last 40 years “are meant to move and uplift the spirit,” says the artist.  His interest in exploring human core values is evident in works such as his sculpture of former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason holding his young son Gunnar, which the Boomer Esiason Foundation awards annually to individuals who lead in fighting cystic fibrosis.

“Champions in Bronze” will run from April 6 through September 2016, and can be viewed by visitors during regular Museum hours. An opening reception for Museum members and a media preview is scheduled for April 5 from 6-8 p.m.

Dance, sport, and family life, as well as portrait busts of luminaries in public service, religion, science, philanthropy, and the arts are primary subjects for Mellon, whose works have been displayed from New York to Tokyo, and are featured in numerous private and public collections and on dozens of college campuses. Among his many subjects are Muhammad Ali, Eli Wiesel, Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, Pope John Paul II, Albert Einstein, Tom Wolfe, Tony Bennett, George H.W. Bush, George Eastman and others.

Examples of Mellon’s bronzes are in numerous museum collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.  His bust of Pope John Paul II is in the Papal Apartments of the Vatican, and his bust of Elie Wiesel is on view at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.

Beyond sport, the artist is currently exploring the figure in motion by working with dancers from the American Ballet Theatre. Mellon is also currently working on an eight-foot high statue for a major university, to be unveiled in October 2016.

The artist is president ex-officio of the Artists’ Fellowship Inc., a charitable foundation that assists professional fine artists and their families in times of emergency or bereavement. Mellon bronzes yearly assist the New York Chapter of the March of Dimes, honoring luminaries in sport and sport business leadership at the annual March of Dimes Sports Luncheon.  His sports bronzes also assist the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s annual Booming Celebration.

Mellon is married to fellow noted sculptor Babette Bloch, and they have his-and-hers studios in Redding, Conn.

More information about Marc Mellon is accessible at www.marcmellon.com

The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit sports education organization on the campus of Montclair State University. Its mission is to preserve and promote the values of respect, sportsmanship and excellence through culturally diverse, inclusive sports-based programming and exhibits. Museum programs foster a better understanding of the historic and contemporary role of sports in society. www.yogiberramuseum.org.

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