U.S. Ambassador to the Lao P.D.R. Daniel A. Clune, and his wife Mrs. Judy Clune welcomed Lao artists, government officials, and members of the diplomatic community to their residence on May 13, to officially open the U.S. Art in Embassies (AIE) weaving exhibition at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Vientiane.
The exhibition features blankets, tapestries, and rugs from the Navajo people, the largest federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States. Ambassador and Mrs. Clune also selected silk weavings created in Laos for the exhibition to show the similarities in the design and techniques used in the two countries. In his remarks before the official opening of the exhibition, Ambassador Clune stated “Both Laos and the United States have strong weaving traditions that date back thousands of years, and both Lao and Navajo weavers use their incredible talent and imaginations to create stunning pieces that are coveted around the globe.”
The attendees were also treated to a presentation on Navajo weaving tradition and culture by three generations of Navajo women, who are visiting Laos as part of a U.S. Embassy cultural exchange program. Following the presentation, Ambassador Clune officially declared the exhibition, which will run for the duration of the Ambassador’s time in Laos open. “In our travels throughout Laos, we have been overwhelmed by the warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage of the Lao people. We hope to reciprocate this hospitality by creating a welcoming home where people can meet and enjoy a special selection of American and Lao textiles” Ambassador Clune said.
Established in 1963, the U.S. Department of State’s office of Art in Embassies (AIE) currently has exhibitions in over 200 venues. AIE curates temporary and permanent exhibitions for the representational spaces of all U.S. chanceries, consulates, and embassy residences worldwide, selecting and commissioning contemporary art from the U.S. and the host countries. These exhibitions provide international audiences with a sense of the quality, scope, and diversity of both countries’ art and culture.