Jefferson Pinder Will Give Robert E. “Ned” Behnke Lecture

Seattle, WA – Melissa Feldman, director of the Neddy Artist Awards at Cornish College of the Arts, announced today that African-American artist Jefferson Pinder will present the 2016 Robert E. “Ned” Behnke Lecture on June 3 at the Frye Art Museum.

A Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, Pinder explores Black American experience and African-American history in theatrical installations that include sculpture, video and performance. Whether on screen or live, his experimental, time-based works feature minimalist actions--sometimes performed by the artist himself--that reference struggle, racial dissonance, and physical theatre. Pinder’s work provides personal and socio-political commentary in a direct and accessible manner. Often inspired by soundtracks and movies, he sorts through collaged audio clips and surreal performances to underscore themes dealing with Afro-Futurism, endurance, and blackness.

Pinder’s work has been shown internationally in exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut; Showroom Mama in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; The High Museum in Atlanta; the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery; and the Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, Poland. In the videowork Juke (2006) African-Americans lip-sync mainstream pop songs that code unmistakably white such as Loretta Lynn’s “Little Red Shoes” and Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (sung by Pinder himself). More recently, he created a physically demanding work investigating authority and labor titled Thoroughbred (2014) that featured four performers running on remote controlled treadmills as part of “Monomyths” in Toronto, Canada. At present, Pinder is preparing for the 2016 Shanghai Biennale as well as creating a sculptural installation for the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture opening this fall.

Robert E. “Ned” Behnke Annual Lecture
Jefferson Pinder
June 3, 2016
Reception at 6:00 p.m., lecture to begin at 7:00 p.m.
Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Remarks in honor of the birthday of Ned Behnke will open the evening’s program

About the Speaker

Jefferson received his BA in theatre from the University of Maryland and studied at the Asolo Theatre Conservatory in Sarasota, Florida. In 2001, Jefferson returned to the University of Maryland to receive his MFA in Painting and Mixed Media. In 2011, he moved to Chicago where he is an Associate Professor in Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Ned Behnke and the Neddy Artist Awards

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. A Cornish painting studio was named in his honor in 1982.

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, with gallery representation by Foster/White Gallery in Seattle. Ned Behnke died in 1989.

Now in its 20th year, the Neddy Artist Awards are among the largest artist awards in the State of Washington, providing two annual gifts of $25,000, and six awards of $1,500, to artists living and working in the Puget Sound region.

Neddy Artist Awards Annual Lecture

When stewardship of the Neddy Artist Awards was moved to Cornish College of the Arts in 2011, the program was expanded. The Neddy Artist Awards support an annual public lecture by a distinguished artist, whose work embodies the spirit of art and social engagement of Ned Behnke, and the values and mission of Cornish College of the Arts. Harrell Fletcher, Susan Robb, Oliver Herring, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, and Tameka Norris are among the artists who have presented this lecture.