Call for 2018 Neddy Artists Awards Open

SEATTLE, WA – The call for applications for the Neddy Artist Awards, one of the largest unrestricted grants for Northwest artists, opens Friday, 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).

About Ned Behnke

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 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.

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.

About Cornish College of the Arts

The mission of Cornish College of the Arts is to provide students aspiring to become practicing artists with an educational program of the highest possible quality, in an environment that nurtures creativity and intellectual curiosity, while preparing them to contribute to society as artists, citizens, and innovators. Cornish realizes this mission by offering baccalaureate studies in the performing and visual arts, and by serving as a focal point in the community for public presentation, artistic criticism, participation and discussion of the arts.

Cornish was founded in 1914 as a school of music and accredited as a college in 1977. It is one of only three private arts colleges in the country offering undergraduate baccalaureate degrees in both the visual and performing arts.