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Yarat - oil

Presentation of project "Art in Embassies"

03.05.2013

Organizers: Embassy of the United States in Azerbaijan, Art Gallery of Museum Center
Azerbaijani curator: Liana Vezirova
Photos by Embassy of the United States in Azerbaijan

Established in 1963, the U.S. Department of State’s office of Art in Embassies (ART) plays a vital role in America’s public diplomacy through a culturally expansive mission, creating temporary and permanent exhibitions, artist programming, and publications. In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy formalized it, naming the program’s first director. Now with over 200 venues, ART curates temporary and permanent exhibitions for the representational spaces of all U.S. chanceries, consulates, and embassy residences worldwide, selecting and commissioning contemporary art from the U.S. and the host countries. These exhibitions provide international audiences with a sense of the quality, scope, and diversity of both countries’ art and culture, establishing ART’s presence in more countries than any other U.S. foundation or arts organization.
ART’s exhibitions allow foreign citizens, many of whom might never travel to the United States, to personally experience the depth and breadth of America’s artistic heritage and values, making what has been called a “footprint that can be left where people have no opportunity to see American art.”
«Relationships» was chosen as theme of Art in Embassies exhibition in order to recognize what is surely the most passionately felt issue in the heart of Azerbaijanis today: the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the troubled relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The relationships represented in the exhibition, many and varied, are among shapes, colors and textures; family members, friends and lovers. They are between workers or artists and their tools; athletes and their equipment; America and her arriving immigrants. A mirror even offers an opportunity to explore one’s relationships with self. Half of the selection is the work of Azerbaijanis and half that of Americans.
Clearly it goes without saying that if would not have been possible without both the effort and creative talent of the artists whose work is included or the generosity of its lenders. Special thanks, too, to American curator, Robert Soppelsa, the project’s wise coordinator and supportive anchor, and to Azerbaijani curator, Liana Vezirova, the project’s fairy-godmother, who generously allowed exhibition organizers to select all of Azerbaijani works from her vast and magnificent inventory, guided thoughtfully through that selection process, and oversaw their installation.

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