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Portrait of Sheila Hicks with arms folded

Portrait of Sheila Hicks. Photography by Cristobal Zanartu, 2019.

Demisch Danant is pleased to congratulate Sheila Hicks, who has been awarded the Medal of Arts by the US Department of Art in Embassies for her committed service to the visual arts. The award recognizes artists, who have played an exemplary role in advancing the U.S. Department of State’s mission to promote cultural diplomacy. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will present the medals at a White House ceremony on September 13, 2023.

Hicks (b. 1934, Hastings, Nebraska) studied at Yale School of Art with painter Josef Albers and art historian George Kubler. She received a Fulbright scholarship in 1957-58 to paint in Chile which enabled her to travel through twelve countries in South America, where she documented archeological sites and indigenous craftspeople. Pre-Columbian weaving techniques influenced her to explore fiber as an artistic medium. Completing her master’s degree in painting at Yale in 1959, she worked in rural Mexico until 1964. She then moved to Paris where she continues to work today.

Widely exhibited internationally, her practice has been informed by global textile traditions and pioneering creations in sculpture and installation art. Hicks was awarded the title of Chevalier by the Legion d’Honneur in 2023 and received an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University in 2019. She has two artworks—Lares and Penates, 1990-2013, and After the Rain, 2013—on permanent display in the U.S embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Her work is included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; and Museo de Bellas Artes, Santiago, and many others.

Read more about the 2023 U.S. State Department Medal of Arts.

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