Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find tips from the field, websites and information, home is where the hooch is suggestions, upcoming programs and events and follow our book club. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Helping you balance health, work, and life





Note: to access these links, use 'unaccompaniedtour' as the company code.


MHN creates a monthly newsletter just for you!  In the February edition:

          • Ten steps to a positive body image
          • Easy exercises for the desk-bound
          • Love that lasts
          • Protect your identity
What's MHN you ask?  Well, it's your employee assistance program that provides a wealth of resources for a healthier, happier life.  Also, check out the unaccompanied tours section under Work and Life on the main website.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

“Timbuktu” Art Reception at Torpedo Factory - Jan. 14

Kathleen Stafford’s husband is in Iraq and in trying to make the best out of the separation, she decided to focus on her artwork. Her first show in the United States will be on display at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA. If you are an unaccompanied tour family member*, join us in supporting Kathleen for her opening reception on Thursday, January 14 starting at 6:30 PM in the Art League Gallery. Please RSVP to FLOaskUT@state.gov by Wednesday, January 13. We will meet at 6:30 at the Sculpture Stairs on the first floor. Go in the main entrance off Union Street and turn left at the kiosk to find the stairs. Look for a sign that says “UT”. If you arrive later, please join us in the Art League Gallery on the first floor.

Please see the announcement from the Torpedo Factory below.

Whether coming by Metro or looking for parking, follow these directions to get you there.

* An unaccompanied tour family member is any family member (spouse, partner, child, parent, sibling, fiancé, girlfriend/boyfriend, etc.) who has an employee serving under Chief of Mission authority at one of the unaccompanied posts overseas.


Printmaker Kathleen Stafford spent 18 years immersed in African culture. “Timbuktu,” her solo artist exhibit at The Art League Gallery, celebrates the compelling people she met and the brilliant textures and colors of West Africa through her unique artistic process.

Living in Africa and the Middle East, without access to a printing press, Stafford needed to find a “portable” medium to continue working as an artist. Watercolor suited the strong sunlight and hidden shadows of the light she saw. She found the people compelling – their decorative clothing, what and how they thought, their way of life, etc. “My fascination with texture and pattern remained from my printmaking days and so came the pleasure of creating the tension and the play between the flat designs in the fabric and clothing that enveloped my subjects, and the three-dimensional modeling of their faces and hands which told so much of their story.”

Once Stafford moved back to the United States she became reacquainted with printmaking. “Collographs (collaged plates/surfaces that are printed using an intaglio printing press) are the perfect medium to capture the rich woven fabrics, and emphasize the textures of their clothing. I then go back into the print with watercolor which really communicates the brilliant light and radiant colors of the decorative clothing.”

Most of the men and women represented in Stafford’s work are people she knows. “I love the designs and patterns of what they are wearing and their graceful presence. It’s beautiful not only aesthetically but beautiful because it’s so dynamic and alive with movement.”

Stafford studied art in Italy at the Scuola del Nudo in Rome and in Palermo, Sicily. She continues her studies with Discover Graphics at The Art League School in Alexandria, VA. Her work has been exhibited throughout Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and is held in private collections throughout the world.

Timbuktu exhibit: January 7 – February 1, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 14, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Printmaking demo: Saturday, January 23, 1:00 – 3:00 pm