Janine Wesselmann: Her Art is a Lifelong Adventure
Maintaining Studios in Switzerland and West Redding, Janine Wesselmann was appointed artistic ambassador representing the United State at an exhibit of paintings in December 1995 at the Centro Culturale in Rome, Italy.
By Fran Sikorski
Artist Janine Wesselmann learned early in her career that “the secret of life is in art.”
The Daughter of a communications specialist with the Federal Agency for International Development in the State Department in Washington, D.C., she experienced a lot of life as a child. Overseas assignments took Robert and Anita Wesselmann and their tow daughters, Janine and Nancy, to such places as Nairobi, France, and Spain.
Ms. Wesselmann spent endless hours watching people in airports, during political crises, at embassy parties, voodoo ceremonies, and cricket matches. She was instructed by her father as she moved from place to place with her family “not to express yourself, and to watch, not talk.”
A recent exhibit at the Marin-Price Galleries in Chevy Chase, MD, home of many international diplomats and government officials, featured paintings of diplomatic halls and social functions experienced by the artis as a young child. Her paintings, called “people-scapes” by critics, are punctuated by rich, jewel-stone colors and undercut by a smooth sense of movement. Her landscapes and café scenes are culled from recent travels through Burgundy, Provence, the Ile-de-France, and the South of England. Her works are exhibited internationally and contained in private collections throughout the world. She maintains studios inn Switzerland and West Redding.
In 1995, the artist, with Frank Janca, also an American artist, was appointed artistic ambassador representing the United States at an exhibit of her paintings at the Centro Culturale in Rome, Italy. Her appointment was endorsed by Governor John Rowland, Reginald Bartholomew: U.S. ambassador to Italy; Signor Lamberto Dini: prime minister of Italy, and Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi.
Ms. Wesselmann’s work was also featured in a gallery reception in Provence, France during commemoration ceremonies of the Normandy Invasion. A red carpet was laid out for her during hours of partying and parades, climaxing with a gala medieval feast for 200 people.