Photographer Catherine Opie and athlete/sports journalist Diana Nyad are no strangers to acclaim; even so, 2013 has been pretty spectacular for both of them. Opie produced at least two exhibitions of powerful photography in both a survey of her architectural work and a series of new portraiture. Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida, without stopping, and without a shark cage. Damn. Still, at first glance, tonight's Hammer Conversations pairing might seem to be an unlikely art/sport crossover. In fact, it's inspired. Both women have fought gender-based stereotypes. Opie's ineffable portraiture has redefined how we think about the female body, beauty and motherhood, and she has returned frequently to the subject of young athletes, from the surf to the football field. For her part, Nyad has been interested in expanding the universe of the broadcast voice and the columnist's purview in ways that have inspired and challenged the character of sports as a social metaphor. Also, she swam from Cuba to Florida. So it seems they'll have a lot to talk about after all. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Thurs., Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000,

Thu., Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m., 2013

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