Thursday, February 17, 2011

Connections between Iceland and native North America

Bob Soppelsa (left) with Ambassador and Mrs. Arreaga (center).
Mr. Soppelsa gave invited guests a sneak peak at the
Ambassador's exhibit.
This week we received our “Art in Embassies” collection for my residence.  A good portion of the art is from native artists who are members of North American nations that flourish north of 60 degrees latitude.  One might think there is little in common, besides geography, between Iceland and these North American nations, but that is not the case. Some of the Haida andKwakwaka’wakw pieces in the collection underline the importance of spirituality for these nations and their strong connection to the sea. I know Icelanders easily identify with both of these concepts.  We also wanted to share art that was created by artists with a global perspective.  Two of the artists in the collection spent a good portion of their lives in the Foreign Service where they picked up themes and techniques that provide unique perspectives.  Art is truly an international language.