Defense Department leaders November 30 honored 12 photography winners, selected from more than 3,000 submissions, for their participation in the State Department’s Art in Embassies (AIE) program. Created to promote deeper cultural understanding through sharing art, the AIE program — which marks its 50th anniversary in 2012 — selects and displays artwork purchased or borrowed for embassies, consulates and ambassadors’ residences. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Army General Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Pentagon press secretary George E. Little recognized 12 “best in show” winners for the “Serving Abroad … Through Their Eyes” category of the program. At a Pentagon ceremony where the exhibition is on display, the chairman quoted Aristotle in describing the purpose of art.
“The importance of art is not to reveal the outward appearance of things, but the inward significance of things,” Dempsey said. “This was really an easy [program] to get behind. It really was exciting.”
The 12 winners were selected from 161 finalists by a panel of distinguished judges from a pool of 3,267 photos submitted by troops and members of the foreign and civil service. Little, who described the Arts in Embassies program as a “unique initiative,” said that — as the Pentagon press secretary — he “attaches a lot of eloquence to spoken words.” “[But] no words can capture the elegance of these images,” he said. Images from the Defense Department awards ceremony can be viewed on the department’s website. More information on the Art in Embassies program is available on the State Department website. Above, Defense Secretary Panetta speaks with Army Captain John Rutledge, one of 12 winners in the Art in Embassies contest best in show awards.
Article courtesy IIP Digital