Grandpa's Farm

BRADFORD — Four oil paintings by Samila Sosic, director of study abroad and international services at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, will soon hang in the home of the U.S. ambassador in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in West Africa.

Sosic, who also teaches in Pitt-Bradford’s art program, submitted the paintings, which depict pastoral barn scenes from the region, to the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program in 2014 while earning her Master of Fine Arts in painting at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

When senior foreign service officer and Pennsylvania native Richard K. Bell was selected to become the U.S. ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, he wanted to display the work of Pennsylvania artists in the embassy and ambassador’s residence in Abidjan. Sosic has agreed to lend her paintings to the State Department for two years, which is the length of an ambassador’s tour of duty.

The Arts in Embassies program registers artists willing to loan their work to the State Department. The works are entered into a database that officials at the State Department can peruse to bring American artwork abroad as a means of visual diplomacy.

The program contacted Sosic in October to request the loan of her four paintings, “Valente Farm,” “Old Lady,” “Grandpa’s Farm” and “Elliot’s Gate.”

They had been on display in the office and home of Pitt-Bradford’s president, Dr. Catherine Koverola. The Arts in Embassies program sent fine arts handlers to pack, crate and safely ship the works to their new home.

Sosic said she was invited to visit her works in their new home but has no plans at this time to do so.

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