Artist with ties to the School of the Arts creates White House Christmas card
If you receive Christmas greetings from George and Laura Bush this year‚ be sure to frame your card. It is truly a masterpiece: the work of Chinese−American artist Zhen−Huan Lu‚ who lives in Kennesaw with his wife‚ Ming Chen‚ KSU associate professor of theater.
(Dec 9, 2002) — If you receive Christmas greetings from George and Laura Bush this year‚ be sure to
frame your card. It is truly a masterpiece: the work of Chinese−American artist Zhen−Huan
Lu‚ who lives in Kennesaw with his wife‚ Ming Chen‚ KSU associate professor of theater.
Lu‚ who is represented by the Hammer Gallery on 57th Street in New York City‚ came to the President and First Lady's attention because one of their longtime friends has been collecting his work for many years.
Last spring‚ Lu spent a day at the White House with Mrs. Bush‚ the White House museum director‚ a White House decorator and others. He was able to tour the entire facility to select which image to depict on the card. He chose to include a Steinway piano in the work and had them move the piano from another location. Then‚ he created a series of sketches and photographs.
After he returned to his home in Kennesaw‚ Lu used his photos and drawings to paint a 38"x40" oil painting which Hallmark Greetings used to create the card.
President Bush recently presented Chinese President Jiang Zemin with a copy of the painting as a gift. The original artwork will remain in the permanent collection at the White House.
On Dec. 5‚ Lu‚ Chen and their daughter Grace visited the White House again for the press preview of this year’s White House Christmas decorations and the first Christmas reception of the year.
"We were honored to meet and take photos with the President and the First Lady‚" says Chen‚ who has often recruited her talented husband to assistant with KSU theater productions. "President Bush highly praised Lu’s work."
In China‚ Lu's work focused on Chinese landscapes. When he came to America‚ he decided that his work should reflect his new homeland. However‚ he had no idea that he would one day be selected to paint one of America's most treasured landmarks‚ the White House.
"Lu feels very honored and fortunate to have had this incredible once−in−a−life time opportunity‚" Chen says.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.