We're proud to feature the work of Kathleen Stafford, our newest guest artist! She may be best known from ARGO, the Oscar winning film by Ben Affleck about her escape from Iran after the 1979 takeover of the American Embassy. Her husband, Joe, and their 4 American diplomat friends were spirited out of Iran thanks to a brilliant plan by Tony Mendez, a CIA agent, with the help of his Hollywood friends and the courageous Canadian diplomats who had secretly sheltered the 6 “house guests” for 88 long days. In that cover scenario, Kathleen would pose as the graphic artist for a Canadian/Hollywood team scouting film sites. But in real life, Kathleen had already received her degree in art and then studied in Rome, Italy at the Accademia De Belle Arti. Graphic artist was a role she could play with gusto!

After her escape from Iran she and her husband continued diplomat life, serving for over 35 years in Africa and the Middle East. The strong colors, the light, the rich woven fabrics, the wonderful shapes of the head wraps, the beautiful people delighted and charmed Kathleen. Viewing her paintings and collagraph prints you sense her affection, appreciation and respect for the people she encountered.

Stafford’s paintings and prints have been acquired by American and foreign embassies, museums, centers of art and culture, and private collectors around the world. They are presently available at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art shop in Washington, DC.