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National Medal of Arts Awarded to Houston Favorite

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) presents the 2013 National Medal of Arts to visual artist James Turrell (L) during an East Room ceremony July 28, 2014 at the White House in Washington, DC. Turrell was honored for his for his groundbreaking visual art through capturing the powers of light and space. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    James Turrell, whose art works have become a familiar part of Houston's visual arts scene, has received the 2013 National Medal of Arts.

    President Barack Obama presented Turrell with one of the 12 arts awards bestowed in a ceremony Monday in the East Room of the White House. Ten National Humanities Medals also were awarded.

    The Houston Chronicle reports the Flagstaff, Arizona, artist has more public installations in Houston than in any other U.S. city. His "The Light Inside" -- a neon-lit underground passage -- is a signature feature of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

    The Chronicle reports the award presented to Turrell on Monday recognizes his visual art, which manipulates light and space in ways that force viewers to question reality.