Venice Artist John Baldessari Receives White House Honor


Updated September 10 – 11:29pm

Venice visual artist John Baldessari, actress Sally Field, and author Stephen King were among 11 awarded a 2014 National Medal of Arts.

The nearly two dozen honorees were recognized by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in the Sept. 10 ceremony at the White House.

Obama said all of the recipients had one thing in common. “They do what they do because of some urgent inner force, some need to express the truth that they experience, that rare truth and as a result, they help us understand ourselves in ways that we might not otherwise recognize. They deepen and broaden our great American story and the human story,” ,” Obama said.

Baldessari, who was among a group of artists that financially supported Obama’s 2012 election campaign, will be honored for his “ambitious” body of work that “combines photography, painting and text to push the boundaries of image, making him one of the most influential conceptual artists of our time,” according to the White House.