WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonians Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
has announced a new, long-term partnership with the U.S. Department of States Office of Art in Embassies, a global program that fosters public diplomacy through the visual arts. The collaboration will allow for both institutions to develop international exhibitions, extended loans, artist residencies and programming. It will kick off Jan. 11, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hirshhorns Ring Auditorium with a public discussion and reception featuring renowned contemporary artists Nick Cave (b. 1959, United States), Imran Qureshi (b. 1972, Pakistan) and Pat Steir (b. 1940, United States).
Throughout the past 50 years, Art in Embassies has played a critical role in encouraging international cultural exchange, creating lasting connections through a shared passion in the visual arts, said Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu. As a public institution with a global audience, we are excited by the opportunity to join forces as we advance our mission of showcasing renowned contemporary artists who explore the most significant political and cultural issues of our time.
The day after the discussion Jan. 12, the U.S. Department of State will recognize artists Cave, Jenny Holzer, Wolf Kahn, Qureshi, Steir and Rachel Whiteread with the International Medal of Arts during a biennial awards ceremony.
Through culture, we can introduce ideas, and each of these artists has contributed to the artistic landscape of our nation in significant ways, said Virginia Shore, Art in Embassies acting director and chief curator. Their artwork evokes our universal aspirations as human beings and highlights our shared experiences with people of other lands, backgrounds and faiths.
Future partnership initiatives will be announced in spring 2017.
This event is part of the Hirshhorns diverse range of free public programs, which invite todays leading innovators in art, design, music and technology to explore ideas that shape 21st-century culture. Recent guests include Grammy-winning rock band OK Go, international architect David Adjaye, The New York Times art critic Holland Cotter and digital scientists from MIT and Stanford University, as well as celebrated artists Ed Atkins, Ian Cheng, Theaster Gates, Robert Irwin, Anish Kapoor, Ragnar Kjartansson, Josh Kline, Linn Meyers and Susan Philipsz.