On the occasion of the centennial of Latvia, one of the most prominent international artist Vija Celmiņa (Vija Celmins) has gifted to the Embassy of Latvia her print “Ocean Surface” (2002) (20 7/10 × 17 1/10 in, wood engraving, on Zerkall paper). Also eight Honorary Consuls of Latvia in the United States – Karlis Steinmanis (Ohio), John J. Medveckis (Pennsylvania), Ahmet M. Oren (New York), Uldis Berzins (Oregon), Andris Lacis (Michigan), Peter A. Ragauss (Texas), Jeffrey Kent Scott (Utah), Robert Blumberg (Illinois) – have made a gift to the Embassy – three tapestries by Latvian artist Egils Rozenbergs “Dzirkstošā tumsa” (Sparkling darkness) (90 x 96 in), “Zīmes smiltīs” (Signs in the sand) (84 x 90 in), and “Tālas noskaņas zilā vakarā” (Distant senses on a blue evening) (82 x 58 in). The three tapestries are made of linen, wool and copper thread. The works of both artists will be permanently displayed in the public areas of the Embassy.
In 2008, to celebrate the 90th anniversary since the founding of Latvia, the Honorary Consuls presented the Embassy with two wooden wall clocks – one for Riga time and one for Washington, DC local time. Both clocks are in use in the office of the ambassador.
Vija Celmiņa is a Latvia born artist who resides in New York City. She is one of the most acclaimed international photo-realism artists. She has attended the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, studied at Yale University, and earned her MFA at the University of California at Los Angeles. Since 1965, she has had over 40 solo exhibitions at the Art Museum Riga Bourse, at Tate Gallery in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and other locations. The latest artist’s exhibition in Latvia “Vija Celmiņa. Eleven works and a film” took place from January 30 to March 25, 2018 at the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga. From December 15, 2018 to March 31, 2019, she will have an exhibition “To Fix the Image in Memory” at the SF MOMA in San Francisco, CA.
Egils Rozenbergs (http://www.egilsrozenbergs.lv/) is an internationally acclaimed textile artist who has taken part in exhibitions around the world since 1968. His works are located at the Danish Embassy in Riga, in the collection of the Danish Royal family, at the Cleveland Art Museum, at the Embassy of Latvia in London, at the Permanent Mission of Latvia to the UN (New York) and other places. Rozenbergs has been awarded the Order of the Three Stars of Latvia as well as Norwegian, French and Italian state awards. The artist works and resides in Jūrmala, Latvia.
Honorary Consuls are unpaid representatives of Latvia, and some fulfill limited consular functions. Latvia has 19 honorary consuls in the United States – in Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Utah, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington State, as well as in Northern California, Southern Californian and the City of New York.
More information about Honorary Consuls: http://www.mfa.gov.lv/vestniecibas-un-parstavniecibas#US
Photos of the artwork can be located on the Embassy's Flickr page.