Leslie Lew art on display at U.S. Embassy

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Leslie Lew
"Animal Crackers" by Leslie Lew. The painting is hanging in the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand from 2015 to 2017.

“Animal Crackers” by Leslie Lew. The painting is hanging in the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand from 2015 to 2017.

Park West Gallery artist Leslie Lew is helping represent American culture thanks to her artwork hanging in the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand.

Lew is one of the many artists who have collaborated with the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies program. Formalized in 1963, the program partners with more than 20,000 artists, museums, galleries and foundations around the globe to provide exhibitions in all U.S. diplomatic posts. The goal is to encourage cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through the visual arts.

Art in Embassies creates and ships around 60 exhibitions each year, with 58 permanent collections installed in facilities worldwide.

Lew has loaned a large-scale version of her “Animal Crackers” painting to Ambassador Mark Gilbert and his wife, Nancy, for the exhibition at their residence in Wellington. The artwork, which is her take on a box of Animal Crackers snacks, will hang in the exhibit from March 2015 to March 2017.

Known for her “sculpted oils,” items like food packaging and comic books are mainstays in Lew’s artwork. She said like famed illustrator Norman Rockwell, she likes to appeal to a person’s soul with her art. In particular, works like “Animal Crackers” are Lew’s effort to capture Americana, making it a perfect painting to help represent American culture. Says Lew:

“I think that’s got to be better than Campbell’s soup. It’s the epitome of every childhood. Everybody growing up in America has had animal crackers.” Read more.

Her first “Animal Crackers” was purchased by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where it hung in the children’s ward lobby to help bring comfort to patients.

The U.S. department will feature the painting on its website, conduct embassy tours and stage educational lectures. A catalog featuring the work will be produced as well.

Aside from the embassy, Lew’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London and Sofia, Bulgaria.

For those who love Lew’s “Animal Crackers,” Park West Gallery has small-scale monotype versions of the painting available. Contact our sales department for more information.

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