Secretary of State John Kerry awarded the second U.S. Department of State-Medal of Artsduring a luncheon ceremony at 12:15 p.m. on January 21, 2015, in the Department’s Benjamin Franklin Room.
The Department of State’s office of Art in Embassies (AIE) was proud to announce that the distinguished recipients are Xu Bing, Mark Bradford, Sam Gilliam, Maya Lin, Julie Mehretu, Pedro Reyes, and Kehinde Wiley. These seven artists were honored for their outstanding commitment and contributions to the AIE program and international cultural exchange.
Two separate installations of Xu Bing Monkey’s Grasping for the Moon, a 96-foot-long hanging word puzzle crafted from Baltic birch, appeared in 2008 at the Beijing embassy while Maya Lin participated in the AIE American Artist Lecture Series at London’s Tate Modern in 2012.
Art in Embassies was initiated by the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, and formalized as part of the Department of State by the Kennedy Administration in 1963. One of the United States’ premier arts organizations, AIE’s public-private partnership has engaged over 20,000 individual and institutional participants in over 200 venues in 190 countries worldwide.
Over the past 52 years, AIE has played a leading role in U.S. public diplomacy by promoting cross-cultural dialogue through the visual arts, and by sponsoring dynamic artist exchanges worldwide. In 2012 AIE initiated the biennial U.S. Department of State- Medal of Arts award to formally acknowledge artists who have played an instrumental role in promoting creativity, collaboration and understanding in support of American diplomacy.
Courtesy of the artists and U.S. State Department Webite, for further information please visit www.state.gov.