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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 02/23/2011

William Christenberry to be honored

By Jacqueline Trescott

Local artist and photographer William Christenberry. (Michael Williamson for The Washington Post)

William Christenberry, one of Washington's most revered artists, has been selected to receive the Alice Denney Award this year from the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA).

Christenberry, photographer, painter, sculptor and teacher, has brought to life many of the disappearing subjects of the Deep South where he was born. Year after year, Christenberry has returned to Hale County, Ala. and found meaning and magic in churches, advertising signs and honky-tonks. Sometimes the subjects are uncomfortable, such as depictions of the Ku Klux Klan. The Smithsonian American Art Museum devoted an expansive show to his art in 2006 and invited him to curate his art and an exhibit of folk art. In addition to the Smithsonian, his work is part of the permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York.

The award is named for the founder of the WPA and her support of contemporary art. It will be given to Christenberry on March 1.

The ceremony is part of the Washington Project for the Arts 30th annual auction and exhibition, which is open now and runs through March 11 at a new location, 700 Sixth Street N.W. on the 10th floor. More than 100 local and national artists are represented in the show and the work will be auctioned March 12. Auction items include an artwork created that evening by Dan Steinhilber.

By Jacqueline Trescott  | February 23, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Contemporary Art, Jacqueline Trescott, Local Arts and Culture, Washington artists, Washington exhibitions  | Tags:  Washington Project for the Arts, William Christenberry  
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