In conjunction with our support of Masters of Art and Sport, we spoke to inspirational award-winning artist Paine Proffitt who is based in the Potteries.
Why are we running this series?
As part of our support of the Masters of Art and Sport exhibition we wanted to take a look at two inspirational figures from each discipline. We spoke to paralympic Ian Marsden as our inspirational sportsman and now it’s the time to speak to an inspirational artist.
Interview by Rob Fielding
I think it’s great when an artwork can capture a story and get an emotional response, trigger a memory or start a conversation…
Potteries-based artist Paine Proffitt will be well-known to many Port Vale fans for his artwork featuring the Valiants but his pieces for the Masters of Art and Sport are his first new Port Vale pieces for some time. He told us: “I think I did my first Vale paintings about seven or eight years ago and it’s been great to return to painting Port Vale for the Masters Of Art & Sport exhibition after a self-imposed PVFC-art exile for a few years.”
Proffitt has years of artwork behind him adding that: “Although I’ve been an artist for most of my life it’s only relatively recently that I started to paint the beautiful game. I’d say I’ve only been painting football for the last ten years or so.”
One of Proffitt’s pieces is an artwork celebrating the history of the onevalefan website and he was delighted to hear that it was a regular topic of conversation when visitors arrived at OVF Towers. He told us: “I think it’s great when an artwork can capture a story and get an emotional response, trigger a memory or start a conversation. Some of my pieces try to tell stories or capture a moment and it’s great to hear when the piece has struck a chord in a supporter or viewer.
“If a do a painting of a specific player or a historic moment it’s great to hear from supporters who remember being at that match or that squad or watching that particular player. Anytime a piece can allow the viewer to bring more to the painting it’s only a good thing.”
So how did Paine become a Port Vale supporter? “It took me a long, long time to find the Vale but once I did I knew they were the club for me, for better or worse,” he begins.
He added: “I’ve only been supporting them for a short nine or ten years now and there hasn’t been a lot of happiness during that time. The highlight of course being the promotion season of 2012-13 and my favourite match at Vale Park was the 7-1 win v Burton Albion during that season. A great night!”
And what about the Masters of Art and Sport exhibition? The event celebrates Stoke-on-Trent being awarded the European city of sport award and the artist thinks that can only be a good thing. He tells us: “I think that anytime the city can get some positive publicity it’s great. To be honest, most of 2016 went by without me knowing that Stoke-On-Trent was the European City of Sport. I don’t know if that’s me being clueless or if the city needed to bang the drum a little louder. But if the Potteries can get the spotlight and promote itself in a positive way then that’s great and hopefully we can push on and get the city’s City Of Culture bid for 2021 next.”
It’s a great goal and we’re sure that if Stoke-on-Trent do get that coveted award, Paine’s award-winning artwork will be at the forefront once again.
The Masters of Art and Sport exhibition runs until 12th February at the Potteries museum
About Paine Proffitt
Paine Proffitt is an American-born artist living in England, best known for his award-winning sporting works and for his depiction of the “working man’s life”.
He studied illustration at the University of Brighton in 1994 before moving to England permanently in 2001. Proffitt cites some of his influences as being Chagall and Picasso and while not ascribing himself to any one art movement in particular, feels that surrealism, cubism and contemporary naïve art are the best labels for his work.
His work was featured on the Port Vale programme covers for the 2012-13 season.
His work features at the Masters of Art and Sport exhibition.