CHICAGO -- OMEGA Ambassador Michelle Wie's artistic talents are now on display in Chicago as part of the 2012 Ryder Cup's Magnificent Moments charity campaign and its city-wide "Tartan Art on the Avenue" exhibition of oversized golf balls decorated by local, international and celebrity artists.
Wie's golf ball, which she painted on behalf of OMEGA, was unveiled on Sept. 13 and will be on display in front of the OMEGA Boutique on Michigan Avenue in Chicago through the month of September; the installation celebrates OMEGA's role as Official Timekeeper of The PGA of America and the upcoming 2012 Ryder Cup, which will be held at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. from Sept. 25-30, 2012.
The original design, which Wie painted at her home in Jupiter, Fla., features a monkey dressed as James Bond - an icon long affiliated with the OMEGA brand - as well as an OMEGA symbol and the words "Dream and Glory," Wie's homage to the Ryder Cup.
"I grew up watching James Bond and was always a big fan of 007," says Wie about the design. "The monkey is a take on that - a quirky side of it. On the back there's an OMEGA logo made with golf clubs and golf balls. On the sides it says 'Dream' and 'Glory' because of the Ryder Cup. Players dream of being on the Ryder Cup team and when they get there, if they work hard enough and they win, they can achieve that glory."
The Magnificent Moments campaign, an officially sanctioned charitable fundraising campaign of the 2012 Ryder Cup, will raise money for two local charities -- The Illinois PGA Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana -- by hosting a series of charitable events in downtown Chicago, including the "Tartan Art on The Avenue" art exhibit.
Wie, who used spray paint and acrylic paint, said the project took her a few weeks and that she had fun with the unique canvas.
"I've never painted a golf ball before, so it was interesting with the dimples," said Wie. "I've spray-painted quite a bit, but it acted differently on the golf ball. The monkey I sketched before. I cut out the holes so I could spray paint on it. I wanted to keep it simple and have a couple colors pop with the yellow and the bright pink."
Wie, an OMEGA golf ambassador since 2006 who turned professional when she was just 16 years old, exercises her creative side as an artist in her spare time and has said in the past that "away from the course, art is one of my passions." She showcases some of her artwork on her website (http://www.michellewie.com/art) and has expressed a strong interest in design.
OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart said: "We are extremely excited to give our OMEGA Ambassador Michelle Wie this opportunity to showcase her artistic talents and are thrilled that she could help us demonstrate our dedication to the 2012 Ryder Cup and the PGA of America. We value our partnership with the PGA and are happy to give back to the charities involved with this wonderful campaign."
Wie, the winner of two LPGA tournaments, is no stranger to representing the United States in team competition. She was a member of the 2009 and 2011 Solheim Cup teams.
Founded in 1848, the brand has built its reputation on innovative watchmaking and unparalleled performance in accuracy trials. OMEGA produced the only wristwatch ever to be certified a marine chronometer in 1932 and its Speedmaster watches were worn on the moon in all six lunar missions.
OMEGA, Official Timekeeper of The PGA of America since 2011, has long supported the sport of golf internationally, serving as title sponsor of the OMEGA European Masters, the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup of Golf and the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic. OMEGA's roster of brand ambassadors includes a number of current golf stars, including U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III, Sergio Garcia and Michelle Wie, and one of the game's all-time greats, Greg Norman.
OMEGA has a rich history in sports timekeeping, having served as Official Timekeeper at 25 Olympic Games since 1932. It has extended its agreement with the International Olympic Committee through 2020.
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