The Art of Diplomacy

When Grace W. Shelton, the U.S. consul general to Bermuda and the first woman to serve in that post, planned an art exhibition for her official residence, she focused on contemporary, American female artists depicting natural settings. One member of that select group of 11 is Staunton, Va., artist Patricia Piorkowski Hobbs, who also happens to be the associate director and curator of Washington and Lee’s University Collections. Pat worked with the State Department’s ART in Embassies Program to provide one monotype and two oil paintings with titles familiar to denizens of W&L: “Cowpasture (Bath County, Virginia),” “Farm Gate, Bath County” and “Bath County Road.” The monotype, “Cowpasture,” is depicted here.

“As an art historian, I am interested in all types of artwork,” Pat wrote in the exhibition’s brochure. “As a painter and printmaker, however, I gravitate to landscape, both rural and urban, as subject matter.” She usually paints locations in Staunton and Augusta County, but during the summer she works at a camp on the Cowpasture River. The three pieces in Bermuda flowed from that location and inspiration. You can see some of Pat’s other work here.

Consul General Shelton writes that Pat’s landscapes “are imbued with a sense of serenity, reminding me of leisurely Sunday drives.” The exhibition hangs in Cedarhurst, the consul general’s official residence, in Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda.

The ART in Embassies Program, which began in 1963, encompasses more than 3,500 original works of art loaned by U.S. citizens. The art by Pat Hobbs and her fellow American artists graces the public rooms of 200 U.S. embassy residences and diplomatic missions around the world.



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