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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

Prior to accepting her post as Executive Director of Reel Girls in March 2012, Held served as Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Frye Art Museum, and as former Associate Curator of the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, where she established herself as one of Seattle’s leading curators of contemporary art.

Held has published and lectured extensively on contemporary art and performance. In 2009 she was a Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow; in 2006 a Goethe-Institute Visiting Scholar, Munich, Germany; and in 2003 a Getty Grant Program Curatorial Research Fellow for Hershmanlandia (2003).

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

Senior Program Officer and Manager of Arts and Culture Grantmaking Program, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Jim is a Senior Program Officer for the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. In that position, he manages the Foundation’s Arts and Culture Grantmaking Program. Previously, he was an art curator and arts administrator in the Puget Sound region for over 20 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.

She was the 2010 Pollock/Krasner Fellow at the MacDowell Colony and received a Northwest Association of Architecture and Urban Studies in Italy (NIAUSI) residency in 2003. She has collaborated several times with the world renowned Olson/Kundig Architects on large scale sited projects and is in numerous collections, including locally in the Seattle Art Museum, the Henry Gallery and the Tacoma Art Museum. She was a board member and board president of NCFE (National Campaign for Freedom of Expression), a national organization that worked to intercept censorship challenges to artists and arts organizations. She has worked with women prisoners through the Pat Graney Dance Company and with peace camp projects focused on Palestinian and Israeli girls. She is called upon regularly to speak on behalf of artists of all disciplines. She is represented by the James Harris Gallery and lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

Neddy at Cornish