Since the dawn of time, humans have worshipped Olympians for their athletic abilities, but we seem to have lost focus as time has gone on, forgetting that they too have the intellectual skills to be world-renowned creatives.
Enter Jumoke Mendez and the way he is looking to change our perceptions of sports heroes. Through his collective, Athletes for Art, he is hoping to inspire athletes everywhere to become global ambassadors for change.
Proving itself, the global platform allows athletes from all sports to exhibit their creative and intellectual gifts. These men and women can not only inspire people through their athletic abilities but can remind people that it forever will be brains over brawn.
At the end of the day, isn’t the brain the strongest and most used biological structure? According to Mendez, it’s time to “reshape societies perception regarding the stigma that athletes are just one dimensional.”
For Mendez, it’s all about athletes finding a purpose beyond their physical abilities. A lot of athletes find themselves trying to fill this empty void after an injury or entering retirement.
Athletes are turning side hustles into big business. Kobe has an Oscar - need we say more?
Simply put, Athletes for Art is that bridge for active and nonactive athletes in search of a transition from sports to living and pursuing their true dreams.
The athlete-artists in Mendez’s collective are dope as hell and are direct proof to what a sportsman or sportswoman can do off the field. Take, for instance, retired professional basketball player Desmond Mason.
The former NBA player and the abstract artist always used art to overcome adversity and express himself. Since the NBA Dunk champ’s retirement from the league he has made it his objective to inspire the world through his creative art pieces.
According to his Athletes for Art bio, he said,
The most important thing in my life is my family… My wife Andrea and our children, Jada and Elijah. They are my inspiration. God blessed me with this artistic talent and I will continue to use it to make a difference.
For sure this fresh perception of athletes should give you a newfound idea of what an athlete can really do. Never should we forget that these physical beings are much more than their godly statures and abilities.
Yes they, wow us constantly on the field but it is more important that they continue to amaze us after they put the ball down. Longevity is the key to inspiration, not instant gratification.
Mendez said it best,
Our platform helps encourage creativity, innovative ideas, intellectual growth and showcases these talents through a variety of mediums. There are many forms of art such as visual art, dance, film, motivational speaking, photography, and etc. The world should know that today’s modern-day athlete is ‘Doing More than just playing sports.’
This article originally appeared on Kulture Hub, a platform built by the next generation of creatives that is focused on delivering the most culturally relevant content the world has to offer.