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Neddy Artist Awards Exhibitions To Be Held At Pivot Art + Culture

20 Year Retrospective Of Award-Winning Northwest Artists and 2016 Winners and Finalists

Seattle, WA—“Neddy Artist Awards: 20 Years” will run September 15 through October 23 at Pivot Art + Culture. Featuring works by previous Neddy Artist Award winners and the 2016 finalists, the show provides a look at the unprecedented support given by the Behnke family to contemporary Northwest art since 1996. The Neddy Artist Awards are among the largest artist awards in the State of Washington, providing two annual, unrestricted gifts of $25,000 to artists working in the greater Puget Sound. Cornish College of the Arts has run Neddy Artist Awards since 2011.

“I’m excited to see the newest artists honored by this award and this look back at twenty years of contemporary art in this region,” said Cornish College of the Arts President Chris Kevorkian. “Melissa Feldman has done a fantastic job of bringing together pieces from past winners.”

The Neddy Artist Awards honor the art, accomplishments, and community involvement of Seattle painter Ned Behnke (1948-1989). Ned was the son of Robert and Sally Behnke. Deaf from birth, Ned Behnke expressed himself in the visual arts from an early age. He received his bachelor of arts from Central Washington University and then graduated with a Master’s degree in fine arts, painting, from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. He went on to teach hearing-impaired students at Cornish College of the Arts. During his life, Ned Behnke received many national arts awards; among them, 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, Seattle.

Melissa E. Feldman, director of the Neddy Artist Awards at Cornish College of the Arts, moved this year’s exhibition to Pivot Art + Culture, Vulcan Inc.’s concept space located on the ground floor of the newly constructed Allen Institute building in the heart of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. “Moving the Neddy Artist Awards to this spacious and exciting new venue allows us to include selected Neddy Artist Award winners as well as examples from all the 2016 finalists,” she said.

As previously announced, the 2016 finalists are Nathan DiPietro, Robert Hardgrave, Paul Komada, and Kimberly Trowbridge in painting. For open medium, they are Dawn Cerny, Mandy Greer, C. Davida Ingram, and Clyde Petersen. The Neddy Artist Awards 2016 exhibition will include works of all eight and will be displayed concurrently at Pivot Art + Culture. National juror Hamza Walker conducts studio tours this summer and will select the recipient of the Painting award and the recipient of the Open Medium award. The two winners of the 2016 Neddy Artist Awards will be announced on September 1. All the finalists and winners will be represented in the exhibition opening September 15.

“I'm very excited to see the work of the current generation in relation to that of past winners such as Claire Cowie, Jeffry Mitchell, and Akio Takamori,” said Feldman. Approximately 10 past awardees will be featured, starting with an early piece by Michael Spafford, who received the first Neddy Artist Award in 1996.

These exhibitions show the broad range of contemporary art supported by the Neddy Artist Awards including photography, video, ceramics, watercolor, and sculpture.

The 2016 Neddy Artist Awards national juror is Hamza Walker, director of education and associate curator at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago and adjunct professor at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Co-curator of the “Made in L.A. 2016” at the Hammer Museum, Walker was named as one of the most influential curators in the country by The New York Times. He is a noted essayist and his writing on contemporary art has been published in such leading industry magazines as Trans, New Art Examiner, and Artforum. As previously announced, the 2016 Neddy Artist Awards finalists were chosen by Anne Couillaud, Scott Lawrimore, and Joseph Park.