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Andante Exhibit
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June 27, 2023 - July 23, 2023


June 27, 2023
July 23, 2023



Jo Ann Rose Gallery
1609-A Washington Plaza N
Reston, VA 20190 United States
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Andante – A Very Special Exhibition
Presented by Serena Yeo, Monica Eun Kyung Choi, Yumi Shintani and Jong Wook Won

Reception: Sunday, July 9 • 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


“It’s always better to be with others than to be alone. Better to walk with others than walk alone. Better to eat with others than eat alone, better to see the world with others than see it alone…” ~Serena Yeo.

Here gather four artists – Serena Yeo, teacher, and students Monica Choi, Yumi Shintani and Jong W Won. While from different backgrounds and life paths, they have been working together to overcome their differences by uniting under one language – Art.

The students were in their sixties when they joined the art class. Time passed and they are now in their 70’s. Their passion, understanding of heart, and steadfastness helped bring forth unique, lively works of art. Their persistence and hard work made this very special exhibition possible.

Monica Eun Kyung Choi’s faith in Jesus Christ’s love is beautifully expressed in “Annunciation and Pieta.” Another work “Sinless Children” is an expression of her love towards humankind and her belief that it was saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. “I graduated from Ewha Women’s University, Korea in 1972. Before I came to America as an immigrant in 1976, I was a Korean Airline flight attendant. After taking several courses, I became a computer programmer and worked at the National Technology Information System of Department of Commerce. I have also worked at St. Paul Chung Korean Catholic Church as Religious Education Provider and now I am volunteering at the parish as a FOCCUS Facilitator providing pre-marriage preparation for young couples” noted Choi.

Yumi Shintani expresses her surroundings, such as her son, her cat and hand-down belongings among other things with a simple yet very precise and distinct touch in her own singular style.

“Art has been a major part of my life.  Japanese calligraphy has been my central challenge over four decades.  It has led to work at the Freer Gallery of art (NMAA) as a volunteer/ contractor from 1998 to the present. I have taught Japanese culture classes including calligraphy, flower arrangement and cooking at RCC. Through the teaching of Ms. Serena Yeo, I have a better understanding of painting both physically and mentally. Every painting that I now make has a story and I have learned to take time to finish each painting to final completion”, comments Yumi.

Jong Wook Won abstractly expresses his spirituality cultivated from his numerous travels. With the attention and accuracy of a scientist, he was able to characterize not only the greatness of nature on canvas, but his utmost love for his grandson. He says: “I am a scientist in Physics. I graduated at Nuclear Atomic Engineering in SNU and Laser Physics in KAIST. I worked in research field at KRISS. I worked as visiting scientist at NIST in Maryland and PTB in Germany. I worked also in Venture Business for a long time. I have learned acrylics from Serena Yeo since 2012.  I am very happy and feel lucky to learn from her.”

Serena Yeo. Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1968, Ms. Yeo began her art journey in grade school and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts, where she focused on print making, studio work and teaching art. Teaching art has been a part of her life in South Korea and the USA for over 30 years as an instructor at a church-run adult school, at language schools for children and self-operated art institute. As President of the Korean-American Artists’ Association (HMAA),  Ms. Yeo supported immigrant children adapt and find their footing in an unfamiliar land through fundraising events, art demonstrations and donations. “Yeo says, “as an immigrant who has spent 23 years in the U.S and has grown to call it home, I hope to express my personal journey through my art.” She has won several awards in America, Korea, and China. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland where her studio is located.

Conclusion by Serena Yeo. “I had a very precious time with these students who were so passionate in the latter years of life. Their attitudes toward life influenced me greatly. The invaluable time I spent with them often showed itself in my works. Our main commonality has been the habit of rushing through the earlier halves of our lives,” Serena Yeo says. “However, now we have taken the opportunity to slow down, to look back and take a breath instead of simply hurrying through each day. This is, in a way, the ‘Andante’ turn of our lives.”

“Through this newly afforded introspection, I came to see that the love, the sadness, the accusations and regrets, the gratitude and remorse, every emotion I have could only be expressed through nature. Nature, which always carried me through my toughest times, and picked me up when I was down. To that end, I hope to capture my respect and gratitude towards nature’s accepting embrace in my works “Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn” and “Winter.”

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Gloria Morrow, Arts Education Assistant