Monthly Archives: September 2012

Swedish Cultural Counselor Kristina Rennerstedt in Washington talks about the forthcoming cultural festival ‘Nordic Cool 2013′ at a SACU luncheon

SACU Luncheon in WashingtonCultural Counselor Kristina Rennerstedt, Embassy of Sweden, and SACU Chair Nils Bruzelius

KRISTINA RENNERSTEDT, Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington talked about the cultural festival “Nordic Cool 2013″ — – at a SACU (Swedish-American Cultural Union) luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 26. The international festival, that will be held from Feb. 19 through March 17, 2013 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will highlight the culture of the Nordic countries – theater, dance, music, visual arts, literature, design, and film — and explore the interplay of themes central to Nordic life, such as nature, innovation, sustainability, design and youth culture. It will showcase the region’s dynamic cultures, creative economies and the cultural diversity of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Greenland, the Faroe and ?and Islands.

IN ADDITION to the performing arts, the festival will offer New Nordic Cuisine, panel discussions and forums with the region’s most prominent writers and Nobel laureates, as well as a film series with Nordic movies. Among others, the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, The G?teborg (Gothenburg) Ballet, and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra will perform as a part of the extensive program.

IN HER REMARKS, Ms. Rennerstedt also discussed the differences between Sweden and the United States when it comes to culture and funding, and how cultural events are supported financially, either through private donations or by government.

Additionally, Sweden will be next year’s honored country at the four-week festival “Memphis in May” — –.   


Exhibition with Paintings and Drawings by Manon Cleary at 39th Street Gallery in Brentwood, Md.

Exhibition with Paintings and Drawings by Manon Cleary at 39th Street Gallery in Brentwood, Md.Artists Sondra Arkin, Ann Stoddard and Anna U. Davis

AN EXHIBITION – “Creating a Legacy: Paintings and Drawings” by the late Manon Cleary (1942-2011) opened with a reception on 39th Street Gallery in Brentwood, Maryland, on Saturday evening, September 22. The show, with 14 paintings and drawings, is curated by F. Steven Kijek and John Paradiso.

Exhibition with Paintings and Drawings by Manon Cleary at 39th Street Gallery in Brentwood, Md.An exhibiton with work by the late Manon Cleary and eight artists that were mentored by or had close relations to her opened at 39th Street Gallery in Brentwood, Maryland, on Saturday evening, September 22.

Exhibition with Paintings and Drawings by Manon Cleary at 39th Street Gallery in Brentwood, Md.Swedish-born artist Anna U. Davis and husband Peter next to her artwork “Garden of Heathen,” 2010, ink on paper.

ALSO SHOWING in the gallery space are eight of Ms. Cleary’s students at University of the District of Columbia (UDC) or artists that she mentored or had close relations with — Swedish-born artist Anna U. Davis, Paul Feinberg, Patricia Goslee, Jeanette Herrera, Yar Koporulin, Jared Miller, Jessika Tarr and Tom Wolff.

Artwork by Manon ClearyArtwork by Manon Cleary

THE SHOW will run through November 17, 2012. 39th Street Gallery (Second Floor) is located at Gateway Arts Center, 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, Md. 20722. Gallery Hours: Thursday and Friday 7-9 p.m., Saturday 12 noon-3 p.m., and by appointment 301-864-3860 x3. For more information: 

Artwork by Manon ClearyArtwork by Manon Cleary

Mentor Foundation USA International Gala held in Washington September 20

Mentor GalaQueen Silvia of Sweden (in the middle) with guests at the gala at The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.

H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden visited Washington, D.C., on Sept. 20, and spent the day at a series of events that support the mission of Mentor Foundation USA, the U.S. chapter of her international organization that focuses on preventing drug abuse and promoting health and well-being among children and youth.

THE DAY’S events culminated with a glittering fund-raising Gala reception and dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. H.M. Queen Silvia and her daughter H.R.H. Princess Madeleine received guests in an elaborate VIP reception, and later everyone dined on miso-glazed sea bass with grilled scallion risotto. Attendees of the Gala included H.R.H. Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia and his wife H.H. Princess Sora Bint Saud Bin Sa’ad Al Saud. Additionally, several corporate executives from Sweden were in attendance, as was a significant representation from the ambassadors’ ranks in Washington. Mentor International Chairman Yvonne Thunell brought remarks at the dinner, and H.M. Queen Silvia delivered the keynote speech.

Mentor GalaCongressman Ed Royce (Rep-Calif.) and wife Marie Therese

EARLIER IN the day, H.M. Queen Silvia visited Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy in Northeast Washington. Mentor Foundation USA for the last year has had a School-Based Mentoring Program at the school that pairs representatives of the corporate world and the community with at-risk youth. H.M. Queen Silvia toured the school and met with the students in the mentoring program.

H.M. Queen Silvia also visited the construction site of the 11th Street Bridge Project in Southeast Washington. The project is being built by Skanska USA, which is a corporate partner of Mentor Foundation USA. While there, she met with a group of students from Washington’s Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School. The students have been involved in Mentor’s “Authentic Career Experience” program in which Skanska employees interact with the students. Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray also joined in the event.

THE MENTOR FOUNDATION USA mission is to prevent drug abuse and promote health and well-being among children and youth in the United States. Mentor USA offers programs that combine the best of international and U.S. prevention efforts. Mentor USA’s approach is to bring the business community together with schools and offer prevention initiatives to youth through different programs. The Mentor Foundation was founded in 1994 by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and the World Health Organization (WHO). Mentor Foundation has chapter organizations in Colombia, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, U.K., U.S.A. and a Regional Chapter in Lebanon serving 22 Arab countries. For more information, visit

THE SCHOOL-BASED Mentoring Program is built around the belief that the best prevention strategies start with youth empowerment by creating optimism, motivation, self -confidence and positive development for young people. To help close the skill gap that encompasses many of the youth in the District of Columbia, Mentor USA has developed mentoring programs that connect corporations with schools. The pilot program involves 15 students (ages 14-16) and mentors from a variety of professions including: D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, M&T Bank, small entrepreneurial firms and many others.
Mentor Gala

Swedish Crayfish Fest 2012 at the House of Sweden in Washington

Swedish Crayfish Fest 2012Bradley J. Olson, chairman of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (SACC), as well as the Washington, D.C. chapter of the organization (SACC-DC); and Anna Lohmeyer, executive director of the DC chapter of SACC-USA (SACC-DC).

THE WASHINGTON chapter of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce( celebrated its traditional Crayfish Fest on Thursday evening, September 13, in the House of Sweden. This traditional Swedish celebration started with a rooftop cocktail overlooking the glorious view of the Potomac River, and followed by the crayfish dinner at the Anna Lindh Hall.

Swedish Crayfish Fest 2012U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (Rep.-Ill.) gives the keynote speech.

THE DELICIOUS MEAL included fresh crayfish and traditional side dishes such as crisp bread and cheeses, different kinds of quiches, meatballs and salads. To compliment the food in the traditional way, chilled aquavit spirits was served along beer, wine and non alcoholic beverages.

Swedish Crayfish Fest 2012Minister Counselor Magnus Ryd? at the Swedish Embassy was one of the speakers.

AMONG THE GUEST speakers were Congressman Randy Hultgren (Rep.-Ill.), who is a member of Friends of Sweden Caucus; Jonathan Miller, who vice-president for Volvo Group North America; Swedish Minister Counselor Magnus Ryd?; and Bradley J. Olson, chairman of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (SACC), as well as the Washington, D.C. chapter of the organization (SACC-DC. The event was sponsored by Volvo Group North America.

Rooftop cocktail at the House of SwedenView of the Potomac River from the rooftop of the House of Sweden 

Rooftop cocktail reception at the House of SwedenRooftop cocktail at the House of Sweden 

Rooftop cocktail at the House of SwedenCrayfish Fest 2012

SACC-DC:s Crayfish Fest 2012SACC-DC:s Crayfish Fest 2012

Exhibition – ʻCafé Days and Club Nights’ — with artist Walter Clark opens at L2 Lounge in Washington, D.C.

Artist Walter Clark and exhibition organizer Samira Georgi

“CAFE DAYS AND CLUB NIGHTS” – and exhibition of 50 artwork inspired by moments glimpsed and expressions stolen in places and times – with Washington artist Walter Clark opened on Wednesday evening, September 12, at L2 Lounge in Georgetown. Additionally, there was a live violin and French chansons performance with violinist Rafael Javadov during the opening event.

Artwork by Walter Clark

WALTER CLARK (born in Washington, D.C., in 1932) has dedicated his life’s passion and soul to the study of fine art. After graduating from George Washington University in 1957 with a joint B.A. in Fine and Applied Arts, Clark entered the Federal Civil Service in 1958 as an artist after six months of active duty in connection with his military obligations in the U.S. Army Reserves. In 1965, he became the director of Art at the National Institute of Mental Health. Shortly thereafter, he went on to pursue his Master’s degree at American University in Film and Public Affairs. Over the next three decades, Clark produced several films as assistant chief of the Mental Health Education Branch at the NIH, along with becoming a special assistant to the associate director of Public Affairs at the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. Clark retired from the Federal Service in 1993, while continuing to teach life and portrait classes and other art-related activities, a practice that he continues to this day.

Artwork by Walter Clark

ENTRY DONATIONS and proceeds from artwork sales in part support a Syrian refugee fund. The event was presented by Ça Va Magazine and organized by Samira Georgi. For more information about the exhibit contact

Artwork by Walter Clark

Artwork by Walter Clark

Artist’s Statement

Sketches are not paintings, at least usually they’re not.

This particular group of elaborated sketches were made on the sly. No one knew they were going to end up being hung. Hung that is, on the walls for everyone to gape at, to be amused by, and to be commented on.

Very much like candid photos, these candid sketches display individuals and groups that are usually employed in having fun. They are doing so in a way that makes them insensible to the guy in the corner wearing a fedora and glancing from time to time at a pad.

I am that guy.

If these pieces are studied carefully, it is easy to see that they were done over decades, decades that allowed smoking in crowded places, beards and suits that were worn in one time and considered outre in others. This matters, because it allows time to stop, to pause, and to allow us, we Americans, to see ourselves as we are, or how we once were.

Therefore, they become historical documents, modified by the artist for effect, but still an essentially accurate document of the time it was drawn.

I don’t remember any current artist that does a convincing job of this. Most do pictures of people posing, of those frozen attitudes they usually take, leave a static impression rather than a dynamic one.

I Street Ribbon Cutting and Gallery Opening in Washington, D.C. on Friday afternoon

I Street Ribbon Cutting & Gallery OpeningThe ribbon cutting ceremony at The Gallery at 200 Eye Street, S.E. in Washington, D.C. on Friday afternoon.

A RIBBON-CUTTING ceremony at newly renovated District government building at 200 Eye Street, S.E., in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Sept. 7., launched the new Gallery at 200 Eye Street, which occupies the entrance lobby of the building that will house new headquarters for several District government agencies.

THE GALLERY AT 200 Eye Street is the first and only District-owned interior space created solely for the exhibition of fine art. A rotation of fine art exhibits will be curated by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and artists and organizations can submit exhibition proposals. All exhibits will be open to the public during normal business hours. The renovated building is the former Washington Star printing plant.

THE INAUGURAL EXHIBITION at the Gallery featured the following artists: Anna U. Davis, Khahn H. Le, Scott G. Brooks, Alexandra Silverthorne, Asmara Marek, Barbara Liotta, Colin Winterbottom, Janis Goodman, John James Anderson, Judy Southerland, Mary Early, Michael Iacovone, Rik Freeman, Siobhan Rigg, Gediyon Kifle.

WASHINGTON Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Chair Judith Terra of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Executive Director Lionel Thomas of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities were among the speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

I Street Ribbon Cutting & Gallery OpeningWashington mayor Vincent C. Gray gives his remarks during the opening ceremony.

I Street Ribbon Cutting & Gallery Opening“The Reluctant Builder” – artwork in acrylic, paper and ink on birch by Swedish-born artist Anna U. Davis

I Street Ribbon Cutting & Gallery OpeningJudith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, gives her remarks.