Moore, Wayland

MOORE, Wayland David

Waylan David Moore, whose expressionistic paintings of dramatic action and brilliant color define an era in sports art, passed on Monday, November 7, 2022, at his home in Decatur, Georgia, at the age of 87.

Distinguished artist, poet, and philanthropist, Moore's professional career spanned across some of the most renowned sports events in his lifetime. Born in Belton, South Carolina on September 8, 1935, his art studies began in elementary school. It was after graduating from Belton High School in 1954, Moore, who was also a star athlete in football, turned down an athletic scholarship to pursue art at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. These mutual interests would define his career.

After service in the United States Air Force from 1960-1964, Moore began his professional career in graphic arts, working from 1958-1961 at an NBC-TV affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina, and later served as the Senior Art Director at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune from 1962-1968. His work in editorial cartooning at the Herald-Tribune earned him a nomination in 1967 for a Pulitzer Prize. From 1970-1974, Moore was the Graphics Director of the Atlanta Braves baseball team and was responsible for re-designing the Braves' 1972 team uniform. Using a lowercase "a" and an iconic feather on the sleeves, Moore's uniform re-design outfitted the Braves in a sleeker, more modern, unified style. On April 8, 1974, when Hank Aaron hit his 715th homerun breaking Babe Ruth's record, he wore a uniform that's now in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame, designed by Wayland Moore.

During his career as a sports artist, a passion continued throughout his life, Moore received numerous awards and sports commissions, including the Indianapolis 500, 1980 Lake Placid, 1984 Los Angeles, 1996 Atlanta Olympics, America's Cup, the U.S. Open, Augusta Masters, and the Maccabiah Games in Israel, among many others. He was also commissioned for the 1973 Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King Battle of the Sexes at the Houston Astrodome.

Moore's creative drive and vision, however, extended far beyond sports. Following his work with the Atlanta Braves, Moore joined forces with the Felicie Agency in New York City/Paris from 1974-1980. His unique skill in expressing motion, feeling, and energy through line and color led to an extraordinary and increasingly international body of work, including wildlife painting in Kenya, landscapes and urban scenes across France, Italy, and Greece. He also painted throughout the United States, with a special focus on the American West and his beloved North Georgia Mountains, where he maintained a separate studio at his home in Clayton, Georgia. He remained active as an artist until his death.

Listed in the Who's Who of American Art, his work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions across the United States and Europe, as well as in China and Ecuador. His paintings hang in the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.

Moore was also a philanthropist who gave unselfishly of his time and talent. His teaching spanned more than 50 years, including serving as a volunteer instructor at the United States Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta and, later, as a Continuing Ed Art Instructor at Emory University for more than 25 years. Many students were devoted to him, repeating his courses year after year. These interactions inspired him. He was also an avid poet in the latter part of his life, always carrying two sets of sketchbooks – one for drawing and the other for words. In 2006, he published his first book of poetry, Brush Strokes of Poetry (Brush Strokes Press). His service to others extended into correspondence. Every week, for decades, Moore sent lively notes with sketches and poems to literally dozens of people, including many young people, who benefitted from his encouragement. He believed in service and was grounded in a deep faith in God. He leaves behind many who will miss him.

Wayland Moore is survived by his wife of 65 years, Helen; his two children, David Moore (Victoria) and Susan House (Mitch); and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Stephen.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Belton Center for the Arts, P.O. Box 368, Belton, South Carolina 29627 or Ringling College of Art and Design, 2700 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34234.