RIYADH: US Ambassador to Riyadh James B. Smith and his wife Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith hosted on Sunday night at their Riyadh residence the “ART in Embassies” exhibition dubbed “Connecting Families,” which was attended by media and both Saudi and American artists. The US ambassador’s residence is named after the USS Quincy, the battleship on which President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Abdulaziz more than 60 years ago and established strong bonds of friendship between the two nations.The highlights of the art exhibition, among others, include the work of Saudi youth artists.
The paintings of Dalal Al-Otibi, who teaches contemporary arts at Princess Nourah University, riveted visitors. “I really did not expect that my work would be selected by the US Embassy and be on display at the residence of the American Ambassador,” Dalal told Arab News.“I am so excited and happy to see my work being given that prominence. This will encourage me and Saudi youth to do more works of art,” Al-Otibi said.
These exhibits include “The Door of the Kaaba” by Soha Alzaid, among others. Also on view is the work of Wolf Kahn.Speaking on the sidelines of the exhibition, the ambassador told Arab News: “We’ve come to understand the importance of family to the people of Saudi Arabia. Family is equally important to Americans, and the quilt, passed down from generation to generation, is a symbol of family in our culture.”
He added that he took his inspiration from US President Barack Obama, when he said: “There are many more things that bind us rather than separate us.”He said this show would help in creating a family bonding atmosphere and make things easier for those people who could not travel to the US to see these pieces. “We want to share this experience with others. Janet and I are proud to continue to celebrate these longstanding and warm ties by displaying in our home fine pieces of art that represent a part of the rich cultural heritage of the United States,” the ambassador said. To view the full story on Arab News, click this link.