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Neddy at Cornish

The Neddy at Cornish is pleased to announce
the 2014 Neddy Awards!


Neddy at Cornish Award Winner in Painting: Susanna Bluhm from Cornish College of the Arts on Vimeo.

The recipients of the 2014 Neddy at Cornish art awards are Susanna Bluhm (Painting) and Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes (Open Medium). Each artist will receive an unrestricted grant of $25,000. The other six finalists will receive $1,500 each.

Susanna Bluhm describes her paintings as exploring the “landscape as a lover and loved one, enmeshed with the paint, and without the safe distance usually afforded by the Sublime in traditional Western landscape painting.” She earned her BA in Studio Art from California State University Humboldt, her MFA in Painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin and at the Karl Hofer Gesellschaft in Berlin. Bluhm is a member of SOIL artist-run gallery in Seattle, and is represented by G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle.


Neddy at Cornish Award Winner in Open Medium: Maikoiyo Alley Barnes from Cornish College of the Arts on Vimeo.

Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes is an artist, filmmaker, writer, and designer who explores the resonance of genetic cultural memory through the mystical and the mundane. He is part of the Black Constellation, a collective that also includes Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, and Nep Sidhu. Alley-Barnes has exhibited sculpture and films in numerous traditional and new-media-based settings including a recent show at the Frye Museum and has been involved in the creation of seminal cultural spaces in Seattle such as the mixed-use space pun(c)tuation, among others. Alley-Barnes lives and works in Seattle.

The awardees were chosen by the Hammer Museum curator Aram Moshayedi, following studio visits with the artists conducted in July and August. Moshayedi joined the Museum in July 2013 and has organized two solo presentations from the Hammer Contemporary Collection featuring works by Los Angeles-based artists Pentti Monkkonen and Hirsch Perlman. Previously he served as the associate curator of the Gallery at The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT). Prior to that, he was a curator at LA>

The Neddy at Cornish exhibition opens September 3 in the Main Gallery at Cornish College of the Arts. Included in the show will be the work of all 2014 finalists: Susanna Bluhm, Robert Hardgrave, Kimberly Trowbridge, Claude Zervas, Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Mark Calderon, Clyde Petersen and Joey Veltkamp, curated by Sharon Arnold. The 2014 Neddy at Cornish finalists were chosen by a panel of three regional arts professionals: Lele Barnett, Tim Detweiler, and Jeffry Mitchell.

Neddy at Cornish Exhibition
September 3 to October 18, 2014
Opening Reception: September 10, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Cornish College of the Arts, 1000 Lenora Street, 1st Floor Gallery
Gallery hours:
Tuesday through Friday: 12 to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 12 to 4 p.m.
First Thursday: 12 to 7 p.m.

Neddy at Cornish

The Neddy at Cornish is an annual artist award program supported by the Behnke Foundation and housed at Cornish College of the Arts in memory of Robert E. (“Ned”) Behnke and in celebration of his life as an artist. Each year, two $25,000 unrestricted awards are given—one in painting and one in any medium or combination of media grounded in the visual arts—to artists living and working in the greater Puget Sound region. Six finalists will also receive $1,500 and will be included in a group exhibition in September.


Ned Behnke was a beloved member of the Behnke Family and a renowned and talented painter. Ned had a passion for the arts that extended beyond his own work. He appreciated the myriad forms that art takes and the way in which art can foster a conscious, vital and more livable world.

After Ned’s untimely death, Shari D. Behnke founded the Neddy in 1996 as a way to honor both his legacy as a visual artist and his deep connection to the Seattle art community. Under the auspices of the Behnke Foundation, the Neddy has become one of the most important art awards in Seattle. The artists who have been recognized have a unique vision and a strong passion for their art as well as for the transformative potential of art to enliven and enrich the world in which they live and practice.

In 2011, the Behnke Foundation transferred the program to Cornish College of the Arts to house and administer the Neddy at Cornish artist award program. Building on the history Ned shared with the College and on the shared commitment of the Foundation and the College to invigorate and sustain communities through art, the Neddy at Cornish program will continue to make two substantial and unrestricted awards to Seattle artists each year. To assist the College, an advisory board of regional arts professionals will offer their external perspective and expertise. For more information on the history of the Neddy awards, visit the Behnke Foundation.

Award Criteria

There are two Neddy awards each year. Recipients will demonstrate artistic distinction through an established body of work and a commitment to their practice. In honor of Ned and his passion for painting, one Neddy celebrates artists that continue to innovate through this traditional medium. Reflecting the ever-increasing possibilities in contemporary art practices, one Neddy honors artists that work in any medium or combination of media grounded in the visual arts.

Ned Behnke embodied Cornish College of the Art’s mission of developing artists as citizens—individuals who create outstanding artwork with 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 both awards are:

  1. Demonstrated commitment to and ongoing development of one’s artistic vision.
  2. Demonstrated engagement with the world around them through their art practice, broadly understood.

See the application guidelines for more information on eligibility and award process.

Neddy at Cornish Program

The Neddy at Cornish program offers unrestricted $25,000 awards to artists who demonstrate a distinctive artistic practice or perspective and who engage with the community at large. To deepen the impact of these awards, Cornish College of the Arts is excited to undertake a year-long series of events and activities to honor and support the work of the recipients, and will, where feasible, make physical resources available to the artists.

After an initial conversation with program staff, and depending on their interests and availability, the two 2014 Neddy at Cornish artists can elect to suggest or develop programs themselves, or can rely on program staff to shape events that reflect and highlight the awardees’ areas of artistic endeavor. Programming possibilities include, but are not limited to artist talks, studio visits, student critiques, panel discussions, or additional exhibitions. In addition to these programs and the annual exhibition, the College will host an annual Robert E. “Ned” Behnke Lecture, inviting an artist or scholar of stature to the campus for a talk and discussion of timely issues relevant to the mission of the Neddy at Cornish program.

Finalists will be selected by an external group of three regional arts professionals. A juror from outside the region will select the two Neddy artists for the year. Neddy at Cornish program staff members and their immediate family are not eligible to apply for an award, serve as an advisor, or serve as a selection committee member or final juror.


  • Ken D. Allan, Associate Professor of Art History,Seattle University Department of Fine Arts
  • Robin Held, Executive Director, Reel Girls
  • Margie Livingston, Artist and 2010 Neddy in Painting Award recipient.
  • Jim McDonald, Senior Program Officer and Manager of Arts and Culture Grantmaking Program, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
  • Mary Ann Peters, Artist, Neddy Recipient, 2000
Neddy at Cornish