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George W. Bush Presidential Center to display artwork of former president

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On Tuesday, the George W. Bush Presidential Center announced two new exhibits that visitors will be able to see in 2014 and one is set to include some original paintings done by the former president himself.

The exhibit, which will open in early April, is called The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy and will "explore the relationships that President George W. Bush forged with world leaders to shape international policy and advance American interests abroad."

In addition to more than two dozen paintings never before seen by the public, the exhibit will also display artifacts, photos, and "personal reflections" involving the international relationships fostered during Bush's presidency.

Bush, 67, revealed his painting hobby last spring and has said he was inspired to take it up after reading the Winston Churchill essay Painting as a Pastime. Churchill himself became an avid painter in his forties and is said to have created over 500 pictures.

Dallas artist Gail Norfleet and Cumming, Ga. artist Bonnie Flood have both served as painting instructors for the former president, leading to a pastime that he says "changed [his] life in an unbelievably positive way."

In addition to using animals and landscapes as subjects, Bush has also been known to paint portraits. Back in November, he appeared on The Tonight Show and present Jay Leno with a portrait of the host he had completed.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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