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Press Release


  November 10, 2004

The artistic talents of Organization of American States (OAS) staff and family members take center stage in an exhibition that opened in Washington Monday evening, attracting works by members of the diplomatic community as well.

The art exposition at OAS headquarters remains open to the public until November 18, and marks the sixth year running that the Organization’s Art Group has mounted an artistic talent showcase. This year, it features nearly 100 pieces by 38 artists—working mainly with oil on canvas, mixed media and photography.

Addressing the guests at a reception to inaugurate the exhibition, the OAS Permanent Council Chairman, Panama’s Ambassador Aristides Royo, described the show as a wonderful opportunity to get to know OAS staff and diplomats beyond their diplomatic work, and to appreciate their artistic talents.

Royo hailed the great talent on display, noting how it provides “a feast for the eyes” that speaks to the creativity of staff and diplomats alike. He also congratulated the Art Group for this important annual activity for the OAS, and thanked the other organizers and sponsors, including the OAS’ Art Museum of the Americas, the Protocol Office and the OAS Credit Union.

OAS Staff Association President Clara Estrada commended the Art Group and the participating artists, noting the important role this exhibition plays in fostering creativity and in encouraging staff members to strive for the very best in every arena of life.

Suggesting staff working away from OAS headquarters should be included in the future, she said the exhibition underscores other areas of endeavor in which staff are engaged in order to enrich their lives—a point also emphasized by Juan Manuel Herrera, whose photographic entries were included. Herrera feels the show is all the more interesting because it reveals that, “behind all these ambassadors, lawyers, specialists, receptionists and other professionals are hidden artists who surface every year to share their art work with us.”

Mabel Mestre, one of the exhibition’s organizers, observed that this latest exhibition also reveals a noticeable improvement in the level of art work produced by the staff over the years. She also said there has been a growing interest for two exhibitions to be staged each year.

Among other activities, the OAS Art Group publishes the monthly electronic newsletter Pinceladas, the brainchild of Gabriel Gross, who is a founder of the Art Group and an internationally-acclaimed artist cited by the Libraries of the European Communities among the foremost contemporary artists of the 21st century. Pinceladas is available online at the Staff Association website (

Reference: E-205/04