2017 Neddy Artist Awards Call for Applications Now Open

SEATTLE, WA – The call for applications for the Neddy Artist Awards, one of the largest unrestricted grants for Northwest artists, is now open. 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.

“What is exceptional about this award is that it is open to professional artists of all ages,” said Melissa Feldman, Director of the Neddy Artist Awards. “It is open to artists living anywhere in the Puget Sound region.” Feldman, who also teaches at Cornish College of the Arts, curated last year’s 20th anniversary exhibition of the 2016 Neddy Artist Awards recipients at Pivot Art + Culture in South Lake Union. Other selections from Neddy Artist Award winners are currently on display at Cornish’s Main Campus Center, 1000 Lenora St, Seattle, Washington.

This year’s jurors for the first stage of the process when the eight finalists are selected will be Francine Seders, owner of the seminal Seattle gallery in her name from 1966-2013, Stephanie Snyder, John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director of Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College, and Matthew Offenbacher, winner of the 2013 Neddy Artist Award in painting whose practice encompasses unconventional curating and teaching. Snyder previously organized an exhibition of 2015 Neddy Artist Award winner Wynne Greenwood that traveled to the New Museum in New York, New York. Offenbacher and his partner Jennifer Nemhauser used his Neddy Artist Award to expand the Seattle Art Museum’s collection to include Northwest artists who had been underrepresented in SAM’s collection through a project named “Deed of Gift” in 2015.

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

The application deadline for the 2017 Neddy Artist Awards is April 24, 2017. Application guidelines and the link to the application form are available at http://www.cornish.edu/neddy.

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.