Artist Elizabeth Roskam, the wife of Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam, on Thursday delivered a one-of-a-kind portrait of the U.S. Capitol to visiting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
A Roskam aide told HOH that sending Poroshenko home with the brightly colored rendering of the Capitol dome — a painting she dubbed, “Bright Horizon” — meant the world to Elizabeth, a proud descendent of Eastern European immigrants.
“You could feel the energy and excitement from everyone who was gathered to meet him and shake his hand,” Elizabeth said in an email describing her opportunity to meet Poroshenko following his morning address to the assembled 113th Congress. “Being half Ukrainian myself, it was especially meaningful to have the chance to talk with him; He said he was very encouraged by the response of everyone in the Chamber.”
According to aides, the congressman and his wife began brainstorming about undertaking some sort of cultural exchange following Roskam's trip to the former Soviet republic in May. Brush met canvas in late August. But the project wasn’t fully completed until last week when Elizabeth added one of the finishing touches — inscribing “Bright Horizon” across the back in Ukrainian.
This labor of love done, Elizabeth now returns to the task of illustrating a 2015 calendar for her husband’s office. Unlike this year’s collection , the forthcoming effort is predicted to depict scenes from all across the nation’s capital.