Application Guidelines

The 2018 Call for Applications is Open!  Go to: 2018 Neddy Artist Awards  

Application deadline: Sunday, July 22, 10:59 p.m. PST


Neddy Artist Awards at Cornish College of the Arts provides cash awards annually to visual artists based in the greater Puget Sound region (Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Skagit,San Juan, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties). The Award is funded by the Behnke Foundation and stewarded by Cornish College as a tribute to Seattle painter and educator Ned Behnke (1948-1989). Each year two $25,000 unrestricted cash awards are given—one in painting and one in any medium or combination of media grounded in the visual arts (referred to in the application as "Open Medium")—to artists creating outstanding work and who demonstrate commitment to and development of their artistic practice over time. Six finalists, three in each category, receive $1,500 each.


The annual Neddy awardees in Painting and Open Medium demonstrate artistic excellence and a commitment to and ongoing development of their work over time.  In honor of Ned and his passion for painting, one Neddy award is given to an artist who identifies his/her/their work in terms of painting, whether traditional or newer interpretations of the medium. Reflecting the ever-increasing possibilities in contemporary art practices, the other award honors artists that work in any medium or combination of media grounded in the visual arts ("Open Medium" in the application).

Ned Behnke embodied Cornish College of the Art’s mission of developing artists as citizens—individuals who aim for artistic excellence and an applied consciousness of responsibility to society. As the awards honor Ned’s legacy, Neddy recipients will reflect and embody his belief in the power of art and artists to be positive forces in our world.

The criteria for the Neddy award is:

1. Work demonstrating not only artistic excellence but also commitment to and development over time.

2. Demonstrated engagement, broadly understood, with the world through art.


Artists may apply to the Neddy Artist Awards if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Artists must be full-time residents of Washington State, residing in the greater Puget Sound region (Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Skagit, San Juan, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom counties). and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

  • Artists must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.

  • Artists must demonstrate an ongoing pattern of producing and presenting work.

  • Artists must NOT be previous recipients of the award. Previous finalists are eligible AFTER A ONE-YEAR HIATUS.

  • Artists must NOT be full-time core faculty or a trustee at Cornish College of the Arts

  • Students currently enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate degree programs at the 
time of application are NOT eligible. Those who have completed all degree requirements at the time of application, but have yet to matriculate may be eligible pending verification. Please contact program staff with questions about eligibility.


Applicants complete the online application requirements by the application deadline. They must chose the medium category to which they are applying: Painting or Open Medium. A panel of three regional arts professionals will review all applications and select four in Painting and four in Open Medium for a total of eight finalists. A nationally-known curator or arts professional--to be announced--from outside the region will then conduct studio visits with each of  the eight artists, ultimately selecting one in each category to receive the awards. The Neddy Creative Director will notify the winners and finalists by telephone within two weeks of the studio visit.

This year's regional jurors are: Nina Bozicnik, Associate Curator, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; John Feodorov, multimedia artist, 2002 Neddy finalist, and Associate Professor, Fairhaven College, Western Washington University, Bellingham; and  Sandra Percival, Director and Curator, Zena Zezza, Portland.

  • Two Neddy Artist Award recipients each receive $25,000
  • Six Neddy Artist Award finalists each receive $1,500
  • A short documentary video is produced for each of the 8 artists


Applications must be submitted online by Sunday July 22 at 10:59 p.m. PST at the CaFÉ website (2018 Neddy Artist Awards), which will guide applicants through the submission process. Applications sent by mail, submitted in person, or arriving late or incomplete will not be considered.

In addition to submitting 12 - 15 jpegs and a resume, artists will be asked to answer questions like:

What does your work aim to express or convey and how does it do so? Please limit your response to 250 words.

What would a Neddy Artist Award mean to you at this particular juncture in your artistic career? In short: why you, why now? Please limit your response to 150 words.