Neddy Artist Awards Accepting Applications

The exhibition of the 2017 Neddy Artist Award winners and finalists at studio e. Photo: Winifred Westergard.

Neddy Artist Awards Accepting Applications

The Neddy Artist Awards, established in 1996 by the Behnke family, honors the art, accomplishments and community involvement of Seattle painter and teacher Robert E. “Ned” Behnke (1948-1989). Since 2011, Cornish College of the Arts has overseen the program.

The call for applications for the Neddy Artist Awards, one of the largest unrestricted grants for Northwest artists, opens today, June 15, 2018. The application is free. 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 (Island County, Jefferson County, King County, Kitsap County, Mason County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Skagit County, Thurston County, and Whatcom County). Six finalists receive $1,500.

“Last year, we saw a much higher number of applicants from outside the Seattle area,” said Melissa Feldman, Creative Director of the Neddy Artist Awards. “Our finalists and winners included artists from Tacoma, Bellingham, Bellevue, and Renton.”

The 2017 winners were Christopher Paul Jordan and Che Sehyun. The 2017 Painting finalists were Barbara Sternberger, Gillian Theobald, and Tuan Nguyen. The 2017 Open Medium finalists were Gretchen Frances Bennett, Marita Dingus, and Dakota Gearhart.

This year’s regional jurors are: Nina Bozicnik, Associate Curator, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; John Feodorov, multimedia artist, 2002 Neddy finalist, and Associate Professor at Fairhaven College, Western Washington University, Bellingham; and Sandra Percival, Director and Curator, Zena Zezza, Portland.The panel will select the eight finalists, and a juror from outside the region will name the two winners in September.

The application deadline is Sunday, July 22, 101:59 p.m. PST, 2018. Application guidelines and the link to the application form are available at

The Neddy Artist Awards Program is funded by the Behnke Foundation and is stewarded by Cornish College of the Arts as a tribute to Seattle painter and teacher Ned Behnke (1948-1989).