Recipients of 2013 Neddy At Cornish Awards Announced
August 12, 2013
The Neddy at Cornish is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 Neddy at Cornish art awards: Matthew Offenbacher (Painting) and Victoria Haven (Open Medium). Both artists will receive an unrestricted grant of $25,000 and will be featured in the Neddy at Cornish exhibition, September 4 through October 19, along with the additional six finalists.
The two recipients were chosen by Sean Elwood, Director for Programs and Initiatives at the Creative Capital Foundation, a New York City-based national nonprofit that provides integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects in all disciplines. Prior to his work at Creative Capital, he was Curator/Collection Manager for the Seattle Arts Commission, Director at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, and Manager of the Art Residency Program at Centrum Foundation. He founded SEEDITIONS Art Publishing Company and Fuller/Elwood Gallery in Seattle. He currently serves on the board of Triple Canopy and on advisory boards for Lower East Side Printshop, Watts House Project and the Dieu Donné Papermill.
Elwood visited Seattle from August 1 to 5 to conduct studio visits with Offenbacher and Haven, as well as six additional finalists whose work will appear in the annual exhibition and who each receive $1,000: Emily Gherard, Andrea Heimer, and Robert Yoder in Painting; and Julie Alpert, Jack Daws, and Dan Webb in Open Medium. According to Elwood, “Meeting with each artist confirmed their talent, likability, and their ability to talk clearly about their work, their commitment to growing their creative practices in this region, and how they were supportive of their peers and community in a variety of effective and generous ways. In short, the decisions I was asked to make as final juror were made extremely difficult by the overall high quality of the art and artists I encountered as I did my studio visits.”
For the award in Painting, Elwood cited Matthew Offenbacher’s use of “painting to open up a conversation about painting” through a practice of “a kind of gentle, positive and intelligent institutional critique.” Elwood went on to note that Offenbacher’s “multiple modes of engagement with the art world and the broader world gives evidence of an energetic, curious, and creative mind.” Most importantly, Elwood was compelled by Offenbacher’s role as a “generous and catalytic participant in the Seattle art scene, where he serves as an idea generator, a pot stirrer, and a focusing agent.”
For the award in Open Medium, Elwood chose Victoria Haven based on her “personally determined, artistically curious, and decidedly agnostic use of materials” for her well-crafted body of work, noting her commitment to live and work in the Pacific Northwest. Elwood found in Haven an artist exceeding the expectations one might expect from a member of the arts community, by “fundraising for various institutions, teaching and mentoring others, and perhaps most importantly, building networks through personal engagement.”
The Neddy at Cornish exhibition will take place in the Main Gallery at Cornish College of the Arts.
Sept. 4 – Oct. 19, 2013
Opening Reception: Sept. 12, 5 – 8 pm
1000 Lenora Street
1st Floor Gallery
Gallery Hours 12-5, Tuesday-Friday; 12-4 Saturday
About Ned Behnke and the Neddy
Ned Behnke was a beloved member of the Behnke Family and a renowned and talented painter. Ned had a passion for the arts that extended beyond his own work. He appreciated the myriad forms that art takes and the way in which art can foster a conscious, vital and more livable world.
After Ned’s untimely death, Shari D. Behnke founded the Neddy in 1996 as a way to honor both his legacy as a visual artist and his deep connection to the Seattle art community. Under the auspices of the Behnke Foundation, the Neddy has become one of the most important art awards in Seattle. The artists who have been recognized have a unique vision and a strong passion for their art as well as for the transformative potential of art to enliven and enrich the world in which they live and practice.
In 2011, the Behnke Foundation transferred the program to Cornish College of the Arts to house and administer the Neddy at Cornish artist award program. Building on the history Ned shared with the College and on the shared commitment of the Foundation and the College to invigorate and sustain communities through art, the Neddy at Cornish program will continue to make two substantial and unrestricted awards to Seattle artists each year. To assist the College, an advisory board of regional arts professionals will offer their external perspective and expertise.