The National Medal of Arts, designed by Robert Graham, are awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.
"Ranging from literature, theater, and visual arts to arts presentation and philanthropy, these artists and organizations have broadened our horizons and enriched our lives. I join the President in congratulating them and celebrating what the arts do for America," NEA chairman Jane Chu said in a statement.
The official citations for the 2015 National Medal of Arts recipients are:
John Baldessari for his contributions as a visual artist. His ambitious work combines photography, painting, and text to push the boundaries of image, making him one of the most influential conceptual artists of our time. (Venice, CA) Ping Chong for his contributions as a theater director, choreographer, and video and installation artist. Mr. Chong’s innovative performances explore race, history, technology, and art to challenge our understanding of humanity in the modern world. (New York, NY)
Miriam Colón for her contributions as an actress. Ms. Colón has been a trailblazer in film, television, and theater, and helped open doors for generations of Hispanic actors. (New York, NY)
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for supporting creative expression across the country. With generosity and a bold commitment to artistic risk, this foundation has helped artists, musicians, dancers, and actors share their talents, enriching the cultural life of our Nation. (New York, NY)
Sally Field for her contributions as an actress and filmmaker. The dignity, empathy, and fearlessness of her performances have touched audiences around the world, and she has deployed those same qualities off-screen in her advocacy for women, LGBT rights, and public health (Los Angeles, CA)
Ann Hamilton for her contributions as a visual artist. Ms. Hamilton uses time as process and material, and her work demonstrates the importance of experiencing the arts first-hand in the digital age. (Columbus, OH)
Stephen King for his contributions as an author. One of the most popular and prolific writers of our time, Mr. King combines his remarkable storytelling with his sharp analysis of human nature. For decades, his works of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy have terrified and delighted audiences around the world. (Bangor, ME)
Meredith Monk for her contributions as a composer, singer, and performer. Renowned for her groundbreaking vocal techniques, Ms. Monk has reimagined the instrument of voice with her innovative work. (New York, NY)
George Shirley for his contributions as a tenor. The first African American tenor to sing in a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Shirley has captivated audiences for more than 50 years with his masterful performances. As a pioneer and as a teacher, Mr. Shirley has paved the way for generations of aspiring African American opera singers. (Ann Arbor, MI)
University Musical Society for presenting the performing arts to communities in Michigan. For over a century, the Society has brought world-class orchestras, dance ensembles, jazz performers, and theater companies to Michigan, while supporting the study and creation of new works. (Ann Arbor, MI)
Tobias Wolff for his contributions as an author and educator. His raw works of fiction examine themes of American identity and individual morality. With wit and compassion, Mr. Wolff’s work reflects the truths of our human experience. (Stanford, CA)
The 2013 National Humanities Medals will be presented at the same ceremony. The event will be live-streamed at WH.gov/Live.
The National Endowment for the Arts manages the nomination process on behalf of the White House. Each year, the Arts Endowment seeks nominations from individuals and organizations across the country. Visit arts.gov for more information.