A huge round of applause is in order for artist Ann Hamilton, as she was awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts by the United States of America. The National Medal of the Arts and Humanities was created in 1984 by congress in an effort to honor artists and patrons of the arts. It is esteemed as the highest award given to artists by the United States government, designated by those “deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.”
Hamilton was born in Lima, Ohio and studied textile design at the University of Kansas. She later received her MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. The background in textiles is integral to her sculpture to this day. Ann Hamilton has gained widespread recognition, and has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the Tiffany Foundation Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship…just to name a few.
In March 2014, Ann Hamilton was awarded the commission for the Seattle Waterfront Project, a one-million dollar transformation of the space once consumed by the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The Seattle Waterfront will include 26 acres of new public space, streets, parks and buildings. Sylvia Wolf, the director of the Henry Art Gallery, states, “Her installations are transformational both for the landscape and for the viewer. We can’t wait to see what she will do with our beloved waterfront.” Ann Hamilton also recently exhibited the common S E N S E at the Henry Art Gallery, a multi-faceted show unified around the concept of touch. The much celebrated show took over the entirety of the Henry Art Gallery for nearly a year, and was the first time, since the expansion of the museum in 1997, that the Henry opened up the entire structure to a single artist as a laboratory of experimentation and exploration.