President Obama awards Mel Tillis National Medal of Art

President Obama awards Mel Tillis National Medal of Art

Tillis, Al Pacino, Will Barnett, Rita Dove, Emily Rauth Pulitzer, Martin Puryear, Andre Watts and the United Service Organization, Honored by President at White House

Nashville, Tenn. (February 13, 2012) ñ This afternoon in Washington D.C., country music icon Mel Tillis was awarded the National Medal of Art by President Barack Obama.

Tillis, along with actor Al Pacino, artist Will Barnett, author Rita Dove, curator, collector and arts patron Emily Rauth Pulitzer, sculptor Martin Puryear, pianist AndrÈ Watts (not in attendance) and the United Service Organization were presented with medals as the 2011 recipients.

From the East Room of the White House, President Obama, alongside First Lady Michelle Obama, presented the Country Music Hall of Famer with the prestigious medal. Tillis proudly accepted grinning ear-to-ear.

ìI've had a blessed career, and that has been acknowledged in many ways over the years,î says Tillis. ìI was pleasantly surprised when I got the call because I didn't know there were any more awards left to win. I'm very thankful and what an honor!"

The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government. The National Medal of Arts is 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, sand availability of the arts in the United States. Past recipients include B.B. King, James Earl Jones, Maya Angelou, George Jones, Hallmark Cards, Minnie Pearl, Robert Shaw, Johnny Cash, Frank Capra, Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, AT&T and National Public Radio.

February 13th, 2012 BACK