Artists and the U.S Embassy in Liberia

Local Liberian artists discuss their art and their inclusion in the Art in Embassies collection at the U.S. Embassy in Liberia.

Full Transcript

0:05 (music)
0:06 LUMEH: My name is Leslie Lumeh, I am a Liberian artist. I am a visual artist: a painter, a
0:23 cartoonist. I run out of this art gallery, here in Monrovia. And I’ve been painting
0:28 for a very long time. I am fortunate to have been one of the Liberian artists that was
0:57 selected by the authorities at the American embassy here in Monrovia.
1:00 WOLOBAH: My name is David Wolobah. I am a self-trained artist, I learned how to paint
1:07 from my dreams. All my life I’ve just spent painting, I just paint. I wake up in the morning,
1:19 take the trash out. 6 or 7 o’clock and I come back. Do one or two things but mostly
1:20 just sit behind a canvas on my easel and paint. I just love painting. It’s part of my life.
1:27 BRACEWELL: In 2003, we organized the center. But we had been working since before that
1:29 to combine, to come together in 2003.
1:31 DAVIES: Being that we are women, we are working towards a goal. Because during the war, there
1:36 were a whole lot of girls and women who were abused by the fighters and others. And they
1:44 did not have this skill. You’d see them roaming around with nothing to do. They hardly
1:49 had food for their children to eat. So we have the passion, and with the skills, we
1:57 decided to bring women and empower them so that they too can be like us. So that’s
2:04 how the dream came about.
2:07 TANGUY: I traveled to Liberia in February of 2011, to meet with Liberian artists and
2:14 to get a sense of their history and their land. And I came away so impressed by their
2:22 passion, the bright colors and patterns of their compositions. And when I came back to
2:29 the States I went around looking for artists that could engage what I’d seen in Liberians
2:34 in some kind of lively, cross-cultural dialogue.
2:42 (music)
2:44 TANGUY: There’s a real range in the collection. There are landscapes that personally express
2:56 on the artist’s part their love of homeland and the very landscapes you can find in Liberia
3:03 as well as in the United States. There are abstractions that may be based on music. There’s
3:10 a real range in the collection and I feel that it overall talks about as I said the
3:15 resilience of the human spirit.
3:34 (music)