Neddy Artist Awards

Neddy Artist Awards

Cornish College of the Arts prepares its students to contribute to society as artists, citizens and innovators. The Neddy Artist Awards are a beacon of this mission. The Neddy Artist Awards are among the largest artist awards in the State of Washington, providing two annual gifts of $25,000, and six awards of $1,500, to artists living and working in the Puget Sound region.

Eight Finalists Named For 2016 Neddy Artist Awards

Melissa E. Feldman, director of the Neddy Artist Awards, announced earlier this week the 2016 finalists for the Neddy Artist Awards. In painting, they are: Nathan DiPietro, Robert Hardgrave, Paul Komada, and Kimberly Trowbridge. For open medium, they are: Dawn Cerny, Mandy Greer, C. Davida Ingram, and Clyde Petersen.Two of these artists, one in each category, will receive the Neddy Artist Award, an unrestricted cash award of $25,000. The Awardees will be announced in September.

The Neddy Artist Awards, stewarded by Cornish College of the Arts, are among the largest artist awards in the State of Washington, providing two annual, unrestricted gifts of $25,000 to artists living and working in the greater Puget Sound region as well as smaller cash grants of $1,500 to all the finalists annually. Established in 1996 by the Behnke family, the Neddy Artist Awards are named for artist Robert E. “Ned” Behnke (1948-1989). Awards are given in the category of painting, which was Ned’s chosen artistic medium, and open medium, which is any medium or combination of media grounded in the visual arts.

In 1996, the Behnke family, through the Behnke Foundation, established the Neddy Artist Awards, as a way to honor and remember Ned. In the beginning, this was one annual award ($10,000), in the category of Painting, Ned’s chosen artistic medium. In 1998, the award program expanded to include two annual awards: one in Painting, and a second in a regularly rotating category, such as Sculpture, Photography, or Ceramics, among others. For many years, the award process was by nomination only. In 2011, stewardship of the award program was moved to Cornish College of the Arts, the program was refreshed and expanded. The first of the two awards continues in the category of Painting; the second is in the categoryof Open Medium.

The application process is now an open call to professional artists in the Puget Sound region. The finalists are selected from the total pool of applicants by a group of three regional arts professionals. From this group of finalists, a national juror from outside the Puget Sound region will select the two Neddy Artist Awards recipients after conducting studio visits with each of the artists. The 2016 Neddy Artist Awards Finalists were chosen by Anne Couillaud, Scott Lawrimore, and Joseph Park.

2015 Neddy Artist Awards

Matt Browning, 2015 Neddy Artist Awards Awardee in Painting

Matt Browning graduated from the University of Washington in 2007 (BFA) and his first solo show, Home Field Advantage in 2009, was called “one of the most promising debuts by a Seattle artist in a long time” (Jen Graves, The Stranger). In 2010, he was selected to launch the Seattle University Visual Artist in Residence (SUVAIR) program. Recent exhibitions include the University of Washington, Frye Art Museum, and Western Bridge, Seattle. In addition to his practice, Browning has taught material studies and art history to non-traditional adult learners through the organization Path With Art. With Jessica Powers, he collaborates as TARL.


Wynne Greenwood, 2015 Neddy Artist Awards Awardee in Open Medium

Wynne Greenwood is a queer feminist artist who works with video, performance, music and object-making to practice culture-healing. Her work has been included in performances and exhibitions at independent and institutional spaces internationally, including the Tate Modern, Whitney Biennial, The Kitchen, and On the Boards. From 1999 to 2006, Greenwood performed the multimedia art-band Tracy + the Plastics. Upon ending the project, Greenwood shifted her focus to installation and object-based work, exhibiting with Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects and Lawrimore Project in Seattle as well as participating in Anti-Establishment, a group show at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies.

She recently released the full-length music album A Fire To Keep You Warm. Greenwood also teaches performance and video through workshops and after-school programs. Greenwood is currently in residence at the New Museum in New York City. Kelly is an exhibition and six-month residency in which Greenwood will premiere the complete, recently re-performed and newly mastered archive of Tracy + the Plastics’ performances alongside new work.


The recipients of the 2015 Neddy Artist Awards are Matt Browning in Painting and Wynne Greenwood in Open Medium. Each artist received an unrestricted grant of $25,000. The other six finalists each received $1,500. The 2015 finalists in Painting are Paul Komada, Elise Richman, and Robert Yoder. Open Medium finalists are Leo Saul Berk, Mark Mitchell, and Rodrigo Valenzuela.

Watch video of the finalists


The Neddy Artist Awardees 2015 were selected by Neddy National Juror Astria Suparak, director and chief curator at Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, from 2008 to 2014. She has curated exhibitions, screenings, and live music events and performances for art spaces, film festivals, and academic venues internationally, including PS1, The Kitchen, and Eyebeam, New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Oberhausen; The Liverpool Biennial 2004, and Exposition Chicago 2014. She has also curated extensively in nontraditional spaces, such as roller-skating rinks, elementary schools, sports bars, and ferryboats.

The 2015 Neddy Artist Award finalists were chosen by a panel of three regional arts professionals: Negarra A Kudumu, Kolya Rice, and Storm Tharp.

More information about the 2015 selection process