Strings of Diplomacy

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Strings of Diplomacy is an art display housed at our office 151 E 5600 S Ste 206 Murray, UT 84107.  

Art is instrumental in shaping intercultural relations.

Art provides a medium through which the viewer can experience cultural heritage and identity. Furthermore, it creates a unique space for people representing different perspectives can come together in a neutral area. Ultimately, art invites people to engage in conversations that raise cultural awareness, promote social identity, and at the same time, and strengthen intercultural relations. These concepts are what we at Utah Global Diplomacy aim to achieve with Strings of Diplomacy. This Utah Global Diplomacy original art display features violins painted by local artists representing countries and communities around the globe. This art display is free and open to the public at the Utah Global Diplomacy office. If you are interested in seeing the violins, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a day and time.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in privately purchasing one of the 2023 violins.


  • Savana Ahava is a “Jack of all Trades” artist, so to speak. Born and raised in Heber City, Utah, she grew up with her family on the Ute Indian Reservation near Fort Duchesne, Utah. She loved visiting them frequently on their farm. As Savana grew older, she was introduced to other tribes and traditions, and in her later years, a Lakota family adopted her ‘in ceremony’. Her deeply spiritual culture has propelled her love for the arts throughout her life. She has always a very wild imagination and a deep yearning to share her experiences of the unseen realms and the mystical parts of life. Savana's violin represents her culture with deep honor and love, knowing the powerful medicine the Native American people and culture hold. Mitakuye Oyasin.

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  • Elisha Fernandez is a 20-year-old Latina currently living in Provo, Utah. She is a best-selling author and illustrator, international public speaker, and award-winning editor. Elisha is passionate about using her art, stories, and ideas to empower, uplift, and motivate teens and young adults. As a self-taught artist, she uses a variety of mediums, including acrylic, embroidery and needlework, and digital. Elisha draws her artistic inspiration from her experiences as a young woman navigating the complexities of life, including heritage and race, mental illness and disabilities, and interpersonal relationships. Her family is from the Dominican Republic, and Elisha is proud of her roots. Elisha graduated in 2023 from Brigham Young University with a degree in Editing and Publishing and minors in Communications and Linguistics. Elisha has published and contributed to multiple books, including her most recent book, an illustrated poetry anthology called "What's Wrong With Me?" Connect with her and find out more about her current literary and artistic projects by following her @artistaelisha on Instagram.

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  • Violin by Allie Occon - artist information coming soon. 

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  • Mercedes Ng is an oil painter who lives and works in Salt Lake City, Utah. A native Hong Konger, her vibrant and cheerful paintings pay special tribute to her homeland. From bustling malls to jam-packed street markets, Hong Kong is known for its many crowds. Her paintings often involve cityscapes and still lifes, which are intentionally lacking in population. By portraying her home in this manner, her objective is to create superficially playful stories tinted with a sense of forsaken uncanniness. Mercedes was educated at the University of Utah and later finished her Bachelor of Arts at Brigham Young University in 2020. She has recently been selected as a recipient of two grants. One from the “New Beehive” project as well as the “I Am” initiative which is organized by the Center for LDS Arts. Her works have been and are scheduled to be shown in exhibitions in the U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, and Ireland. She recently completed a month-long residency at Studio Kura, Fukuoka, Japan in 2023.

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  • April Dawn Terry is a local mural artist and painter. She enjoys expressing the deeper aspects of our shared humanity through the arts. She believes that creativity is a way to let one’s soul fly free and add beauty and meaning to the world. Her work can be seen in schools, libraries, and private collections. To see more of April Dawn's work, visit her website or find her on Instagram or Facebook: @aprildawnart. By the way, her violin glows in the dark!

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  • Born to Lao refugees and raised in Utah, Indavady Angel Sopraseuth discovered her love of art at a young age. Drawing inspiration from human emotions and cultural diversity, she creates art that transcends boundaries and invites the viewer to delve into a world of imagination and introspection. Recognized for her technical prowess, Indavady’s art has been showcased in galleries statewide. Her ability to connect with the audience on an emotional level has earned her multiple awards including the Scholastic Art and Writing Silver Award. Indavady has also worked on projects for a local nonprofit, Nurture the Creative Mind. Beyond her artistic practice, Indavady actively engages with her community, participating in volunteering and civic engagement. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at Weber State University and strives to become a secondary art teacher. Indavady believes in the transformative power of art and its ability to foster change and social impact. As Indavady continues to push the boundaries of their creativity, she invites viewers to join them on a journey of self-discovery and exploration. Her art serves as a bridge between imagination and reality, inviting us to question, reflect, and embrace the human experience.

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  • Ruby Vejar is small business owner of Rue N Co in Ogden, Utah. As a first-generation student at Weber State University studying immigration law and political science, Ruby has reached many lives through art and service. Ruby offers free art classes on the side, family photos, music classes, and scholarship help to low-income families and the occasional stranger who learns about her. Art has been one of the most important parts of her life due to her heritage and creative nature. She is a first-generation immigrant to the United States from her family’s origins in Jalisco Mexico and Mexico City. Because of Mexico's deep ties to music and art, she has made it her mission to help everyone find a means to enjoy different modes of art because she believes it saved her life. To see more of Ruby's art, follow her on Instagram @rubyvejar @rue.andco

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  • Renee Sarasvati had an amazing opportunity to live in Thailand for several months in 2017 and felt right at home riding a scooter in the jungle. The fresh fruits, culture, people, and ocean were so beautiful to visit and inspired her Strings of Diplomacy violin. She loves world travel and hopes to visit Thailand again soon. Renee is a powerful and passionate creator who truly cares about showing up in the world in a good way and leads through example and humility. She inspires a deep introspection into self and universe through her writing, visionary and prophetic art, powerful questions, observations, and expressions. Renee is a teacher and a student in the world devoted to beauty and love. Her powerful practices around energy, accountability, curiosity, and creativity make her integrous as she is wild and sacred. You can see more of her work and services at

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  • Lilian Forth is a 19-year-old college student studying at the University of Utah. Although she has never formally been trained in art, it has been one of her passions since she was a child. In addition to her passion for art, Lilian is also highly passionate about traveling and the effects it's had on her worldview. Her personal travels have inspired various pieces including this violin which was inspired by a visit to Istanbul Turkey in early 2023. She wanted to capture the vibrant colors displayed in the tiles, pottery, and architecture that were present in Istanbul. Lilian has plans to finish college and continue traveling in the hopes of cultivating new experiences and making new art pieces. To view more of her work or travel, follow her Instagram or Facebook @lily_forth

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  • Terry Peterson paints because she enjoys observing nature and life. Each painting serves as a personal journal entry of her life, capturing a specific experience on a particular day and time. The Vietnam Violin painting comprises multiple images derived from her own photographs taken during a trip to Vietnam. Serving as the family guide for the trip was her daughter-in-law, Vivon Ung Peterson, who was born in Vietnam. Throughout her entire life, she has been deeply involved with art. Having obtained a BFA magna cum laude from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), she has worked in various art-related fields, including silk-screening, illustration, art teaching, directing art camps, and designing print publications and outdoor exhibits. Since retiring to Utah in 2017, her focus has been on plein air oil painting. She finds unlimited inspiration in traveling and camping amidst the beautiful and dramatic landscapes of the western region.

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  • Artist Mr. Richard R. Hsieh graduated from the Taiwan Normal College and taught painting in Taiwanese high schools and colleges for 25 years. In total, he has more than 40 years of experience. He has more than 30 honors at numerous Chinese national art exhibits and has held dozens of one-person exhibitions in Taiwan. Salt Lake City, and Park City. He was presented an ultimate honor when his paintings were collected by the National Arts Museum in Taiwan as national treasures.

  • Artist Ms. Lenka Konopasek is a 1994 graduate of the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a 2001 graduate from Maine College of Art in Portland with a Master of Fine Arts degree. She also completed three Artist Residencies. Ms. Konopasek has participated in many national and international solo exhibitions and has also participated in more than a dozen group exhibitions. She has also received numerous awards and been featured in at least ten significant publications.

  • Artist Mr. Darryl Erdmann has participated in one-person shows since 1988 and has been shown most recently at Creekside Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. Darryl has won numerous awards, including first-place from the La Jolla Arts Competition in 1996, as well as the Eccles Art Center Open Competition in1997. He has multiple commissions and collected works on display in both private and corporate collections throughout the Southwest.

  • Artist Ms. Vatsala Naagesh showed an early interest and talent in art, resulting in her participating in a special art program for gifted individuals in India, where she received a Bachelor in Biology degree. She received a scholarship to Mt. Holyoke College, where she completed a Master's degree before returning to India to study art and music. Upon returning to the United States, she has been exhibiting her skill in the art of Tanjore painting at various cultural events.

  • Artist Agung Gunawan shared, "Transforming the bow into a violin represents several things: the integration between eastern and western culture, and my desire to end the rising violence in the world. Through my work of art, I would like to promote world peace as well as to show our precious Javanese wayang (puppetry), which is a blend of complex art, from painting and music to theater and philosophical values."

  • Artist Ms. Mary Wright Straight was educated in the Utah public schools and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor in Fine Art. Mary was very fortunate to be taught by several remarkable instructors, including LeConte Stewart, Alvin Cittlns, Doug Snow, Ed Maryon, George Dibble, Dale Bryner, and Earl Jones. She taught art at Granite High School for three years and has raised four sons. She has recently returned to art classes and workshops, as well as the renewed association with fellow artists.

  • Artist Liucija Vrubliauskiene graduated from Vilnius Art Academy in textiles. Since 1978, she has been the principal of Art School in Druskininkai, a beautiful resort south of Lithuania. As an accredited teacher, she has devoted most of her life to teaching others and thus has had only two personal exhibitions in 1976 and 1996. Ms. Vrubliauskiene is well-known for her distinctive style in painting on silk and textiles.

  • Art did not enter the life of Ms. Ruby Chacon through schools or extracurricular activities - it came from her uncle Covito. Ruby is deeply committed to the Latino culture and created Mestizo Gallery, followed by the Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts (MICA), the first Art Institute of the Americas in the state of Utah, to bring Latino artwork to the local art scene. In 1998 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and drawing at the University of Utah.

  • Artist Ms. Stephanie Michelle Saint-Thomas debuted with oil paintings at the age of two and is a self-taught artist who had her first professional exhibit at the Fransche Molen, a 13th-century watermill converted to an art gallery, at the tender age of 12. In the early '80s, Stephanie designed a collection of wearable art jewelry that was bought by several major department chains, including Saks Fifth Avenue, followed in1993 by invitation to partner in a company creating a line of artist gifts representing the Mayan culture.

  • Artist Ms. Suzanne Tornquist studied with Robert Rumel and received a degree in graphic design from the University of Utah. Suzanne worked as a commercial artist for 12 years before deciding to devote herself to painting. Her art has been shown in the Springville Art Museum, and in 1998 "The Prayer Shawls" won the "Louie Award" for best Jewish Image. Her works are published by the greeting card companies, Caravan Press Inc. and EthnoGraphics Corp.

  • Artist Ernesto Apomayta-Chambi was identified as an artistic prodigy at the tender age of five. At 17, he won the opportunity to study at the prestigious Carlos Baca Flor Regional School of Fine Arts in Arequipa. Peru, and was later offered a scholarship to study art among the Chinese masters in Beijing and pursued his advanced art studies at the distinguished Autonomous National University of Mexico in Mexico City. He speaks eight languages, holds a doctorate In pre-Columbian art history, and is an internationally recognized authority of Chinese art.

  • Artist Ms. Willamarie Huelskamp graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and drawing. Her paintings have been exhibited and won awards in many national and local juried shows. She won "Best of Show" three times in the Utah watercolor society's annual show. Her paintings have been reproduced in six books, and she has more than 1000 works hanging in private and corporate collections. In addition, she teaches watercolor painting and experimental water media painting at the University of Utah.

  • Ms. Pilar Pobil spent much of her childhood sketching scenes and playing with color and design in any medium available to her. For several years, she focused on sculpting, later branching out to watercolor and oils. She is a self-educated artist who has always worked alone. In the thirty years she has been sculpting and painting, her work has won innumerable awards, and she has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the Western States, Chicago, Spain, and Mexico.

  • Patricia Cay attended the University of New Mexico, receiving a Bachelor of Art in Art Education, K-12, and a Master of Arts in Special Education and Counseling. Honored with several art awards during high school and college, she has had several art shows and has also sold paintings during these times. Combining her educational and artistic interests, she has taught elementary to college levels, in the areas of special education, art, and counseling.

  • Patricia Owen, a Fine Arts Graduate from Southern Methodist University, is acclaimed as an exemplary veteran middle school Art Teacher. At Clayton Middle School, Patricia inspires her students to create artwork that fills them with pride. Each year, student artwork is displayed at The City-County Building and The City Library. Three students, Rebecca Brown. Heather Church and Kristen Scheil accepted Ms. Owen's challenge to paint a violin with the United States depiction for the Strings of Diplomacy display.