A bust of Ambassador Butenis by Sri Lankan sculptor Upali Dias
Sculptor, painter and filmmaker Upali Dias presented a bust of Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis to the Ambassador on July 5. Upali began sculpting in 1978 and has created busts of U.S. diplomats and other famous individuals. In 2008, when the U.S. presidential elections took place, Upali created busts of President Barack Obama as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He did the same for President George W. Bush in 2004. In addition to Ambassador Butenis, he created the busts of former Ambassadors to Sri Lanka Ashley Wills and Robert Blake.
Upali first entered the field of art as a curator after his father Wimalasena Dias, a veteran painter and sculptor, passed away in 1975. His works of art, many of which are displayed at prestigious galleries in Sri Lanka, have earned him both local and international recognition. He has also worked as the Art Director in several classical Sinhala movies and directed many short films.