When the Charlotte 49ers Hall of Fame inducted its first class on September 9, we were most excited about the stunning portraits and award medals that retired illustration professor Jamie Franki created.
The seven hand drawn portraits, which were also rendered as celebratory flags, demonstrate why Franki has been a revered mentor to so many UNC Charlotte art students over the years. A magazine and book illustrator, Franki coordinated the illustration concentration in the Department of Art & Art History for many years. “The making is largely organic,” he told Charlotte Magazine last year. “I’ve always got a Bic fine-point throwaway pen.”
The medals are the latest in a long and distinguished list of medals and coins that Franki has designed over the years. A member of the American Medallic Sculpture Association and the American Numismatic Association, Franki has designed and sculpted dozens of medals and coins, including the Jefferson 1800 nickel obverse design. In addition to the U.S. Mint, selected clients for his artwork include the United States Olympic Committee, the American Numismatic Association, the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, the Kenan Football Hall of Fame in Chapel Hill NC, WFAE/NPR Charlotte, the NC State University Football Hall of Fame, the U.S. Home Corporation, InBusiness Magazine, BioCycle Magazine, Stock Car Racing Magazine, and UNC Charlotte. In 2020, Franki designed the College of Arts + Architecture Distinguished Alumni Awards medal.