Neddy Exhibition Moves To Georgetown

SEATTLE – Neddy Artist Awards Director Melissa Feldman selected Georgetown gallery studio e to host the exhibition of the 2017 Neddy Artist Awards winners and finalists. Titled “New Art From The Pacific Northwest,” the opening reception for the 21st Annual Neddy Artist Awards Exhibition will be January 27, 5 pm to 8 pm, at studio e, 609 South Brandon Street, Seattle, Washington.

“I picked studio e because it is an elegant, spacious gallery with 12-foot high ceilings and we love the Georgetown location. It's a destination. I know our Cornish College students and audiences will enjoy coming to this vintage industrial part of town that is still untouched by developers. But it would not have been possible without Dawna Holloway, owner and director of the gallery, who was kind enough to donate the space to us for the show,” said Feldman.

For the public, this show provides the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of the Pacific Northwest arts community. “This year's group of Neddy finalists and winners is the most diverse we've ever had in so many ways--ethnically, geographically (with artists hailing from Tacoma, Bellingham, and Auburn), stylistically, and even age-wise,” said Feldman. “It’s a new glimpse of art from the Pacific NW, with only one of the artists having been shortlisted before for the Neddy.  Most will be new discoveries for our audiences. I'm also excited about the performative element that is part of many of the artists' work, painters included.  The video program will show how, for some of the artists, the performative takes the form of public address via songs, music, dancing, teaching and mural painting.”

National Juror Claire Tancons has selected local artists Christopher Paul Jordan and Che Sehyun as the recipients of this year’s Neddy Artist Awards, each of whom will receive an unrestricted grant of $25,000. In her summary of her selections, Tancons pointed that Jordan in painting and Sehyun in open medium bring a “multicultural savvy” to their work through a deep connection to their heritage and the youth in their communities.

“As it turns out, community engagement, always at the heart of the Neddy in relation to its namesake the late Ned Behnke's life as an artist, is central to the work of both Neddy winners this year, Christopher Paul Jordan (painting) and Che Seyhun (open medium),” noted Feldman.

Since 2011, Cornish College of the Arts has stewarded the Neddy Artist Awards, started in 1996 as a tribute to the life and work of Ned Behnke. Each year in September, 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.

The 2017 Painting finalists are Barbara Sternberger, Gillian Theobald, and Tuan Nguyen. The 2017 Open Medium finalists Gretchen Bennett, Marita Dingus, and Dakota Gearhart.

Works from all of the artists will be on display at studio e from January 27 to February 24.  The gallery is open Fridays and Saturdays from 1 pm to 6 pm.

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.