Advancement, Neddy at Cornish, Press releases

2018 Winners Of The Neddy Artist Award

Seattle, WA— Director of the Neddy Artist Awards, Melissa Feldman announced today that Lakshmi Muirhead would receive the 2018 Neddy Artist Award for painting and Timea Tihanyi would receive the 2018 Neddy Artist Award for open media. Each will receive an unrestricted award of $25,000. The winners were selected following studio visits in September by national juror Rochelle Steiner.

“I am honored to have juried the 2018 Neddy Artist Awards and to have visited the studios of the eight exceptional Seattle-based finalists. Reflecting the criteria for the Neddy Artist Award—artistic excellence, commitment to work over time, and engagement with the world through art—I have selected Lakshmi Muirhead in painting and Timea Tihanyi in open media. I believe these recipients embody Ned Behnke’s belief in the power of art and artists to be positive forces in our world,” said Steiner.

A showcase for the works of the finalists and winners of the 2018 awards will be held at the Cornish Playhouse gallery, November 14 through December 16, at the Seattle Center. A public reception for the artists will be held Wednesday, November 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Cornish Playhouse Gallery, 201 Mercer Street. More about the Neddy at Cornish can be found at

More About Neddy Artist Award Winners And Finalists

Lakshmi Muirhead works in painting and figure drawing, beginning with a canvas or plywood surface and laboriously applies plaster, acrylic, oil, ink, paper and graphite layers.  This process achieves a distinctly rich, subtle and shifting texture. Her work has been featured at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, 2312 Gallery, and Oxbow Gallery. “In creating a piece, I am motivated by the pursuit of beauty and an eventual resolution.  Often, I incorporate texts that are personal narratives or transcriptions of actual experiences. As a piece progresses there is a revelation of intimate truth or aesthetic knowledge that allow me a respite from the past and the future,” says Muirhead on her website. She lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

Timea Tihanyi is a Hungarian born interdisciplinary artist and ceramist living and working in Seattle. Tihanyi holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary, a BFA in Ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Washington, where she is currently a senior lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Visual Arts program. Tihanyi is the founder and director of Slip Rabbit, the first clay 3D printing makerspace and digital ceramics research studio in the Pacific Northwest. She collaborates with mathematicians and technophiles and received the 2018 Bergstrom Art-Science Award for her work in tactile patterns.

“It was a tough decision for the national juror given the really outstanding group of finalists that our hardworking regional jury picked from over 200 applications received via open call. I am thrilled that the award puts a spotlight on Lakshmi Muirhead and Timea Tihanyi, bringing their thoughtful and relevant practice honed over many years to a wider audience both within the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” said Melissa Feldman, Director of the Neddy Artist Awards.

This year’s Painting finalists were:

Andrea Joyce Heimer, Ferndale
David Hytone, Seattle
Ann Leda Shapiro, Vashon Island

This year’s Open Medium finalists were:

Dawn Cerny, Seattle
Aaron Flint Jamison, Seattle
Jono Vaughan, Seattle

Rochelle Steiner, the national juror for the 2018 Neddy Artist Awards, is the Associate Director and Chief Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Steiner previously served as Professor and Dean at the Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California; Director of the Public Art Fund in New York; Chief Curator of the Serpentine Gallery in London; and Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Steiner has commissioned and curated major exhibitions and large-scale public art projects throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Her numerous essays and interviews have appeared in exhibition catalogues and publications including Parkett, Modern Painters, Art Review, and World of Interiors. Steiner received an MA and PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York.

The finalists were selected by three regional jurors: Nina Bozicnik, Associate Curator, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; John Feodorov, artist, 2002 Neddy finalist, and Associate Professor at Fairhaven College, Western Washington University, Bellingham; and Sandra Percival, Director and Curator, Zena Zezza, Portland.

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

2018 Neddy Artists’ Showcase at Cornish Playhouse

The work of the 2018 Neddy Artist Award winners and finalists will be shown at the Cornish Playhouse Gallery from November 14 to December 16, 2018. Located in the lower lobby of the famed Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center, the gallery will be open to the public Friday through Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m., unless closed for a matinee performance. The gallery will be open to all ticket holders attending matinee or evening performances at the Cornish Playhouse throughout this period.

A reception for the artists will be held Wednesday, November 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Cornish Playhouse Gallery, 201 Mercer Street.

Neddy Artists’ Showcase 2018
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, 201 Mercer Street, Seattle
November 14 to December 16, 2018
Open: Friday – Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m., free*
*closed during ticketed events such as matinee performances

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.

Media Contact

Cornish Communications

Main Campus Center
1000 Lenora St.
Seattle, WA
(800) 726-ARTS

Read More

A person typing on a laptop.

Front Page

Winter Surfs the Cornish Website

Read more

Cornish News

Preorder Cornish Staff, Jared Pechaček, new book "The West Passage"

Read more

Cornish News

Cornish College of the Arts Welcomes UArts Students with Automatic Acceptance and Housing Grants

Read more


Cornish Alum, Casey Curan's Met Gala Design Featured in The Seattle Times

Read more