About the Author: Kristen Hickman serves as Public Affairs Officer for the Art in Embassies Program.
Porcupine quills, fossils, stones, feathers, wood and shells are the basic building blocks that Vicki Grant uses when she goes to work. As an artist, she transforms clay using cast-offs from nature. “I have always felt that the most amazing forms, structure, color and textures are found within nature and that exposure to these elements have been my inspiration and teacher,” Grant says.
Two of her works currently appear as part of the Art in Embassies exhibition in Kampala, Uganda, where leaders met this week for the African Union Summit. Her approach mirrors that of a diplomat. She has specific objectives and looks for new combinations of existing materials to achieve them.
Grant graduated from the University of Maryland School of Architecture and practiced for 30 years before shifting focus to work on art full-time. Windows to the Earth I and II reflect a dual sensibility. Her work shows attention to mathematical precision as well as artistic flair. After firing the clay, she applies oil pigments, layer after layer, until she achieves the final patina of rich hues she envisions.
Since 1963, Art in Embassies has cultivated partnerships with more than 12,000 artists, museums, galleries and foundations worldwide to provide dynamic, culturally-diverse exhibitions for U.S. diplomatic posts.