Adam Port, a native of Five Towner, has turned his long-standing passion for sports and the arts into a successful career and hopes to donate 100% of the profits from his latest project to the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation.
Port has been a professional artist for over 20 years. He specializes in a style of photorealism focused on sports and pop culture, using mediums such as colored pencil, graphite, acrylic paint, oil paint and especially airbrush.
Taken to a local craft show by his parents, he saw the airbrush technique for the first time and was amazed at the details that could be done by this medium. “In fact, he sat for a few hours at the booth of an artist airbrushing leather jackets,” Port’s mother Rona Port said. “He watched her every move, taking as much as he could from this man.”
The port was addicted. “I remember telling my parents I wanted to,” he said. “They took me to an art supply store and bought me my first airbrush. From that point on, I was pretty obsessed with it. His mother remembers it was when Port was 10 or 11, Port said he was a few years older.
A three-sport athlete at Hewlett High School, Port played soccer, basketball and baseball. At the same time, he took all the art lessons he could to immerse himself in different mediums.
He particularly bonded with Nick Lacetera, an art teacher who later worked as a football coach. “Early on he saw my potential and we got really tight,” Port said.
It’s a relationship that continues with Port who shows and talks occasionally at Lacetera’s art classes. “He was very dedicated,” Lacetera recalls, “even back then he knew he wanted to be a full-time artist, so he was one of the hardest-working ones.”
After graduating from high school in 1996, Port studied illustration at the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. He has integrated sport into each of his class projects.
Around this time, he asked a friend of his, Brian Appell, to take one of his school projects to a Knicks-Bulls game in the hopes that Michael Jordan would see the painting and dedicate the artwork. art.
While this did not happen, it still worked for Port. A National Basketball Association photographer saw the painting and chatted with Appell, which ultimately resulted in Port securing a prestigious licensing deal with the NBA.
“Getting a contract with the NBA was her first break,” Rona said proudly. “We all went to New York to see his display in the NBA store.”
Port was finally able to work with Jordan. Other Port clients include NBA star Carmelo Anthony, NFL Hall of Fame Ray Lewis, Basketball Hall of Fame and Elvis Presley Enterprises. His painting “Ty Cobb Sliding” sold at auction in 2012 for almost $ 25,000.
Port turned his passions into a dream career, achieving a short-term personal goal by exhibiting his art at the George Billis Gallery in New York.
Unfortunately, due to the covid, the paintings were hung and ready to go but the show, originally scheduled for March 19, 2020, was canceled a few days earlier.
He is currently looking for a new representation. “In the long run, I would like to see my work in some museums,” said Port, “but I’m pretty sure any artist would say that.”
His current work is Port’s favorite, he said, an extension of his Art of the Sole sneaker painting series. Port recently teamed up with NBA Hall of Fame member Shaquille O’Neal, who signed a series of limited edition prints.
“Adam was thrilled that the Shaquille organization liked their replication of their famous shoe,” Rona said. “Adam has organized a lot of charity events for other celebrities, but this one is special – basketball is his second love alongside his family.”
The series is based on one of the first paintings in Port’s “Art of the Sole” series – “Pump It Up” (Reebok Pump Shaq Attaq Retro Orlando 2017). The painting features Shaq’s first signature shoe.
All proceeds from the addition will be donated to the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation which aims to “bring change to communities in need and help disadvantaged youth achieve their full potential,” according to the mission statement on its website. Web.
For more information on Adam Port and his current projects, visit his website: www.adamport.com.