Press Release Center

2016 Neddy Artist Awards Call for Applications Now Open

SEATTLE, WA – The call for applications for the Neddy Artist Awards, one of the largest unrestricted grants for Northwest artists, is now open. 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 receive $1,500. All eight artists selected for this year’s grants will be included in a group exhibition in autumn 2016.

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.

The application deadline is April 17, 2016. Application guidelines and the link to the application form are available at http://www.cornish.edu/neddy. Questions regarding the Neddy Artist Awards may be directed to Ellen Ito, program manager, at eito@cornish.edu.

The recipients of the 2015 Neddy Artist Awards were 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. Interviews and other information about the 2015 recipients can be found at http://www.cornish.edu/neddy_artist_awards/.

About Ned Behnke

The Neddy Artist Awards honor the legacy of Seattle painter and teacher Ned Behnke (1948-1989). Ned was the son of Robert and Sally Skinner Behnke. Deaf from birth, Ned Behnke expressed himself in the visual arts from an early age. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Central Washington University, and his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, Painting, from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. He lived and worked in Seattle, where he taught art to hearing-impaired students at Cornish College of the Arts and other institutions.

During his life, Ned Behnke received many national arts awards including a major public art commission by the King County Arts Commission for the Seattle Hearing and Deafness Center. He exhibited his art widely and was represented by Foster/White Gallery in Seattle. Ned Behnke died in 1989.

His legacy is in evidence throughout our community through the generous philanthropy of the Behnke family. The Northwest AIDS Foundation (now the LIFELONG AIDS Alliance) created the Ned Behnke Leadership Award in 1993. The Ned Behnke Preschool, Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center was founded in 2007 with an emphasis on speech, language, and literacy development.

Neddy Artist Awards Annual Lecture

When stewardship of the Neddy Artist Awards was moved to Cornish College of the Arts in 2011, the program was expanded. The Neddy Artist Awards support an annual public lecture by a distinguished artist, whose work embodies the spirit of art and social engagement of Ned Behnke, and the values and mission of Cornish College of the Arts. Harrell Fletcher, Susan Robb, Oliver Herring, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, and Tameka Norris are among the artists who have presented this lecture.