UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE EMBASSY- WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
United States Art in Embassies Exhibition March 2015- March 2017
"ANIMAL CRACKERS" 36"x56", sculpted oil on canvas
Letter From Ambassador Mark Gilbert
Dear Leslie, What an honor it is, to have the whimsical “Animal Crackers” as part of our US. Dept. of State Art in Embassies exhibit in Wellington, New Zealand! The piece has prompted some incredible conversations-‐ including discussions about animal rights, animals in captivity and more.
We learned since opening our exhibit to more than one thousand guests so far, that New Zealand does not have a cookie that resembles our American-‐ iconic childhood-‐ favorite. Nor do they permit a circus to perform here.
So, we have had as you can imagine, some delightful moments explaining that this is every American kids go-‐to-‐ snack food! We also imported several hundred boxes of the real thing for our art exhibit when it opened and not only moved a little display near your painting but gave it as a little memento as people left!
In all, a huge Success! We thank you for agreeing to loan this fabulous pieces that looks great on the wall and is giving so many some “food for thought”.
Thank you so much! Warm regards from Ambassador Mark and Nancy Gilbert