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Neddy at Cornish

Program Staff

Jenifer K. Ward

Program Director

Jenifer K. Ward is Dean of the College at Cornish College of the Arts. She has a background in cinema studies, particularly in a German context. After completing her Ph.D., she taught language, literature, cinema, and cultural studies in liberal arts colleges for many years before moving to Cornish in 2007.
Her most recent publication, in addition to numerous articles, essays, and book chapters, is the co-edited volume Reworking the German Past: Adaptations in Film, the Arts, and Popular Culture (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2010). She serves on the Advisory Board of The Project Room, an experimental and multi-disciplinary art space in Seattle, and is Editor of Off Paper, its online journal.

Cable Griffith

Associate Program Director and Curator

Cable Griffith is Exhibitions Curator at Cornish College of the Arts. Before arriving at Cornish in 2010, Griffith served as Kirkland Arts Center’s Exhibitions Director from 2007 – 2010. He studied painting and art history at Boston University before receiving an MFA in painting at the University of Washington in 2002. He is still an active artist and a member of the Seattle artist-run gallery, SOIL.

Ellen Ito

Program Assistant

Ellen Ito is the Program Assistant for the Neddy at Cornish at Cornish College of the Arts. She has a background in studio art and museum studies. A working artist, she is also a co-founder and operator of The Telephone Room Gallery.


Neddy at Cornish advisors are regional arts professionals who work with program staff to maintain the vision and spirit of the Neddy, serve as a bridge between the Neddy at Cornish and the broader arts and civic community, provide a view of the program from the perspective of artists and community members outside the College, work with Cornish program staff to maintain the award’s relevance to the evolving nature of painting and the myriad forms of visual art in our time, and are a resource for the staff as it identifies selection committee members and out-of-town jurors.

Ken D. Allan

Associate Professor of Art History

Ken D. Allan is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Seattle University Department of Fine Arts where he teaches courses on modern and contemporary art and specializes in American art of the 1960s.  He received a BA in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and his MA and PhD in Art History from the University of Chicago.  Recent upper-level courses and seminars include, “Space & Site in Contemporary Art” and “Trauma, Image, Text: History & Representation after WWII.” 

His research focuses on the rise of the Los Angeles art scene in the 1960s and his recent publications include essays for the Getty Museum book, Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980, and articles on Ed Ruscha, Pop art and the city (Art Bulletin, 2010) and Wallace Berman, jazz and the Los Angeles underground (Art Journal, 2011).  His current book project is entitled, Object Lessons: Experiencing Pop Art in 1960s Los Angeles.  Allan has also written a gallery catalog essay on the Seattle artist Isaac Layman (Lawrimore Project, 2008) and collaborated with him on a project for the exhibition Intellectual Property curated by Yoko Ott at the Hedreen Gallery, Seattle University.  He has served as the faculty liaison for the Hedreen Gallery curatorial staff since 2007, and served as a local juror for the 2012 Neddy at Cornish.

Robin Held

Executive Director, Reel Girls

Held has served as a curator and arts administrator in the Northwest for over a decade, helping artists to realize their most ambitious dreams, commissioning new art, creating exhibitions and performances, and contributing to scholarship. Her past institutional positions include Executive Director of Reel Girls, which educates, mentors and equips young women to create transformative media; Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, and Associate Curator at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington. She has curated over 125 exhibitions, including the first museum exhibition of Minor Matters artist Joseph Park.

Held has published and lectured extensively on contemporary art and performance, and has established a reputation for creating innovative and compelling exhibitions of contemporary visual art, performance, film and new media. In 2013, she was honored with the Women’s Funding Alliance Leah McCullough Legacy Leadership Award; in 2009 she was a Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow, among other awards and recognitions. Held earned her PhD (ABD) in Art History at the University of Washington, where her studies focused on contemporary art and critical theory in new media, and feminist philosophy.

Margie Livingston

Artist and 2010 Neddy in Painting Award recipient.

Margie Livingston received her M.F.A. in painting from the University of Washington. Her awards include a residency at the Shenzhen Fine Art Institute in Shenzhen, China; a Fulbright Scholarship; the Arts Innovator Award; and the Betty Bowen Annual Memorial Award in 2006. She is represented by Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, and is a member of Soil, an artist-run gallery in Seattle.

Jim McDonald

Jim McDonald is currently an art and philanthropy consultant. He has worked as a grantmaker, curator, arts administrator and art consultant in the Puget Sound region for over 25 years.

Mary Ann Peters

Artist, Neddy Recipient, 2000

Mary Ann Peters is an artist whose combined studio work, public art projects and arts activism have made noted contributions to the Northwest and nationally for over 25 years. She is a founder of COCA (Center on Contemporary Art), a recipient of the Artist Trust Leadership and Arts Award and the 2000 Behnke Foundation Neddy Award in Painting. Mary Ann is a 2013 recipient of an Art Matters Foundation (NYC) fellowship.

Neddy at Cornish