Press release from Asheville Art Museum:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the Asheville Art Museum of Asheville, NC as one of six recipients of the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Over the past 28 years, the award has celebrated institutions that are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
“IMLS is pleased to recognize the outstanding performance and meritorious community and professional service of our six National Medal recipients,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “We look forward to celebrating them and calling attention to their great work not only in their widespread locales but across the land!”
Established by artists in 1948, the Asheville Art Museum is committed to being a vital force in community and individual development and to providing lifelong opportunities for education and enrichment through the visual arts. The new Museum, which opened in November 2019, serves as a cultural, educational, and architectural anchor in the center of downtown Asheville. The Museum’s Collection of over 7,500 objects explores 20th- and 21st-century American art with works in all media that illustrate American aesthetic and cultural development. The Collection also preserves the artistic traditions of the Southern Appalachian region, reflects the unique combination of cultures in Western North Carolina, and explores the mutual influence of Southern Appalachia on American art. The Asheville Art Museum presents up to 20 exceptional exhibitions annually and offers a wide variety of public programs for visitors of all ages.
Selected from 30 national finalists, the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.
“The Asheville Art Museum is proud to be selected as a 2022 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service alongside two celebrated museums and three libraries that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to serving communities across the nation,” said Pamela L. Myers, executive director of the Asheville Art Museum. “The Asheville Art Museum was founded to champion the creativity of Western North Carolina’s 24 counties, bring art in all media of national significance to the community, and encourage dialogue; it continues to further the intent of its founders more than 74 years later. The Museum has always been a place where individuals and groups interact with objects of significance, making new and enduring personal narratives and experiences. The newly restored and expanded Museum—a 21st-century architectural landmark anchoring downtown Asheville—is a marker on the continuing journey to realize the Museum’s mission: to engage, enlighten, and inspire individuals and enrich community through dynamic experiences in American art of the 20th and 21st centuries.”
The award will be presented at a ceremony next month in Washington, DC. For a complete list of 2022 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, visit imls.gov/news.