BlogTour NYC: Interview with John Pagnucco owner of Spirit of Sports


The second in a mini series of blog posts about ‘BlogTourNYC’ sponsor Spirit of Sports’ 

Competitive Sports, athletics and play are the original art form. And Spirit of Sports is the world’s largest online gallery of non-licensed artwork and gift items dedicated solely to the subject of sport. Spirit of Sports carries fine sports art and gifts in 30 sports categories which people can search on easily through the filters they’ve created once you hit their homepage here: Spirit of Sports

The owner of the company is John Pagnucco, DreamwallStyle got chance to speak to John and find out a little bit more and what the Spirit of Sport meant to him……
Q1. What was the inspiration behind setting up ‘Spirit of sports’? 
A1.The idea behind Spirit of Sports evolved in the late 1980’s when I began
looking for art with a sports theme, not personality or team specific, but
just good art that embodied passion and energy and represented a sport in a
meaningful way.  I had known of Leroy Neiman whose paintings of sports, both
generically and some personality specific, I admired and were known
worldwide. But there wasn’t an artist in “second place.”  There still isn’t.
Leroy Neiman is alone at the top.  We are in the process of discovering and
marketing a lot of artists who are relatively unknown.
Q2. What does the words ‘Spirit of Sports’ mean to you? and how would you describe the meaning of spirit of sports?
A2. I discovered many artists who created sports imagery both in paintings and
in sculpture and thought that I could open a true “sports art gallery”
featuring the works of many artists.  I did just that in 1991 with The Arena
Gallery in Edina, Minnesota, and also included high quality gifts that were
sports themed.   After four years, I realized we were not in the right
location and closed the business and returned to my former investment
banking business.
But the “sliver under my fingernail” did not go away.  A few years ago I
began to toy with the idea of re-creating the business on the internet,
which I did in late November last year.  The Spirit of Sports was born.  The
“spirit” is the idea of art and gifts relating to a sport that an individual
loved or played in yesteryear, or loves, plays, or is involved with
currently….a sport that is a meaningful part of his/her life.
Beyond food, sex, and shelter, sports is very high on the list of common
denominators among most people.  In this country, the sports section of the
daily newspaper is what most people read first….
Q3. Are you actively a sports person? 
A.3 Sports was and is a meaningful part of my life as it is a meaningful basic
element of any culture.  Thousands of years ago, depictions of contests were
etched in caveman walls.  Art was part of the very first Olympic games in
the eighth century B. C.  Great sports art was and still is a celebration of
the human body….
Q4. what is your favourite sport? 

A4. At one time or another in my life I played baseball, American football,
tennis, and I rowed on the crew at Cornell University.  I have skiied for
thirty five years and I play golf regularly.
Q5. Do you have a favourite art piece in the ‘Spirit of Sports’ collections? 

A5. I have many favorite artists, but for different reasons.  Linda Hartough for
golf landscapes.  She was the artist for many years for the British Open and
painted the “signature hole” of each golf course.  Same for the U. S. Open.
Q6. Do you have a favourite artist? 
A6.John Mecray captures the essence of sailing….Michael Bryan paints with energy and style that I enjoy.

Mark Lundeen is a favorite bronze Sculptor along with Mark Hopkins, whose
work is more playful…

Q7. How do you feel being part of BLOG TOUR NYC? 

A7.We look forward to the Blog Tour.  We are a unique business and site and
look forward to being able to build relationships with the design community.

Blog Tour: The world Designed New York City presented by Modenus

Art from the Spirit of Sports was recently featured on both the Today Show in the 3D *ManCave* featured on this segment:  and also on the Nate Berkus show: where artist John Mecray, the founder of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI and the world’s most famous artist of yachts and sailing vessels had three of his prints selected from Spirit of Sports’ site by the designer who won the room reveal.

Spirit of Sports is on Twitter  Facebook

The new Spirit of Sports blog has just launched, Spirit of Sports are an upcoming sponsor of Modenus’s #blogTourNYC - the social media event where 15 design bloggers are being flown in from around the world to attend the worlds’ largest wholesale luxury tradeshow, the Architectural Digest Home Show in NYC, March 22nd -25th for four days of design education, blogging, collaboration and sharing.

Blog Tour NYC - AD Home Show

All pictures of artwork & sculptures in this post are all products available to purchase from Spirit of Sports’ 

2 responses to “BlogTour NYC: Interview with John Pagnucco owner of Spirit of Sports

  1. Hi Hannah, this is a superb post. Love the story of how Spirit of Sports got started and the entire idea of it is so lovely. I use to run track back in my younger days (lol) and just to have a piece of art that reminds me of such is marvelous.

  2. DreamwallStyle

    Thank you Marilyn, it was great to find out more about the spirit of sports indeed a great story!

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