Neddy Artist Awards 2016 Finalists Announced

Seattle, WA—Melissa E. Feldman, director of the Neddy Artist Awards, announced today the 2016 Finalists. In painting, they are: Nathan DiPietro, Robert Hardgrave, Paul
Komada, and Kimberly Trowbridge. For  open medium, they are: Dawn Cerny, Mandy Greer, C. Davida Ingram, and Clyde Petersen. Two of these artists, one in each category, will receive the Neddy Artist Award, an unrestricted cash award of $25,000. The Awardees will be announced in September.

The Neddy Artist Awards, stewarded by Cornish College of the Arts, are among the largest artist awards in the State of Washington, providing two annual, unrestricted gifts of $25,000 to artists living and working in the greater Puget Sound region as well as smaller cash grants of $1,500 to all the finalists annually. Established in 1996 by the Behnke family, the Neddy Artist Awards are named for artist Rober E. “Ned” Behnke (1948-1989). Awards are given in the category of painting, which was Ned’s chosen artistic medium, and open medium, which is any medium or combination of media grounded in the visual arts.

Neddy Artists Awards Selection

The eight Finalists are selected from the total pool of applicants by a group of three regional arts professionals. From this group of Finalists, a National Juror from outside the Puget Sound region selects the two Neddy Artist Awards recipients, after having conducted studio visits with each of the artists.

The Neddy Artist Awards Finalists 2016 were chosen by Anne Couillaud, Scott Lawrimore, and Joseph Park. 

Anne Couillaud is an independent art curator and writer who recently relocated to Seattle from New York. Last year she co-curated and co-produced with Julia Fryett the second
edition of Black Box, an experimental film, video and new media art festival in Seattle.  Recent exhibitions include Day to–day at Martos Gallery, NY, Mythologies for Visual Aids, NY, and Solitude(s) at LMAK Gallery, NY.  She is a contributor to and, and has written catalogue essays on the  work of contemporary artists such as Mark Hansen and Vincent Lamouroux. Couillaud received her BA, MA and first doctoral diploma in Art History from La Sorbonne, Paris.

Scott Lawrimore has dedicated his entire career championing Pacific Northwest contemporary artists as a curator, writer, art historian, educator, and gallerist, and has been the caretaker of over 250 exhibitions in the region. Lawrimore cut his teeth in the art galleries sweeping floors, scrubbing toilets and dusting Chihulys’ at Foster/White Gallery (1996–1998) and managing Greg Kucera Gallery (2000–2005) before he was able to scrub the toilets of his own space, Lawrimore Project, for seven years.  As Curator of the Frye Art Museum (2012-2014) he mounted 14 exhibitions during his 18-month tenure. Lawrimore has contributed to, published, or edited a baker’s dozen books featuring Northwest artists, including the first monograph on Buster Simpson published on the occasion of the artist’s 40-year retrospective at the Frye Art Museum. He has also taught practicum and art history classes at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle University, and the University of Washington. Lawrimore is currently serving as the first Director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington, where he is also a Visiting Lecturer who learns from the MFA candidates at the School of Art + Art History + Design. He received his BA in art history in 1993, and his MA from CSU Sacramento in 1995. 


Joseph Park received the Neddy Artist Fellowship Award from the Behnke Foundation in 2005. Park has been included in over thirty group exhibitions over the last two decades, and was the subject of solo museum exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA and at the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR. His paintings are in the collections of the City of Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and numerous private collections nationally. Park was born in 1964 in Ottawa, Canada and received a BA in 1988 from the Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Valencia, in 1990. He currently lives and works in Seattle and

is represented by Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR.

Neddy Artist Awards Honor the Legacy of Ned Behnke

The Neddy Artist Awards honor the art, accomplishments, and community involvement of Seattle painter Ned Behnke (1948-1989). Ned was the son of Robert and Sally 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 then graduated with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, Painting, from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. He went on to teach hearing-impaired students at Cornish College of the Arts. During his life, Ned Behnke received many national arts awards; among them, 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, Seattle.

Neddy Artist Awards History

The Neddy Artist Awards are among the largest artist awards in the State of Washington, providing two annual, unrestricted gifts of $25,000. Established in 1996 by the Behnke family, the Neddy Artist Awards are named for artist Robert E. “Ned” Behnke (1948-1989).  Cornish College of the Arts has stewarded the award program since 2011, expanding its reach and programming.

In 1996, the Behnke family, through the Behnke Foundation, established the Neddy Artist Awards, as a way to honor and remember Ned. In the beginning, this was one annual award ($10,000), in the category of Painting, Ned’s chosen artistic medium. In 1998, the award program expanded to include two annual awards: one in Painting, and a second in a regularly rotating category, such as Sculpture, Photography, or Ceramics, among others. For many years, the award process was by nomination only.  In 2011, stewardship of the award program was moved to Cornish College of the Arts, certain adjustments were made, refreshing and expanding the program. The first of the two awards continues in the category of Painting; the second is in the category of Open Medium. The application process is now an open call to professional artists in the Puget Sound region. Further information about rules and application process can be found at 

When stewardship of the Neddy Awards was moved to Cornish College of the Arts in 2011, the impact of the award program was expanded and deepened for the Seattle art community as well as for Cornish students by the addition of an accompanying series of educational events and activities. These programs support the art and ideas of the Awardees while offering cultural enrichment to diverse audiences in the region.

Today the program is overseen by Melissa E. Feldman, an independent curator and writer. A frequent contributor to Art in AmericaFriezeThird  Text, and Aperture, among other publications, Feldman’s recent exhibitions include Another  Minimalism: Art After California Light and Space (2015-16), organized by the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh and travelling in the UK; Free Play (2012 and ongoing), an ICI touring exhibition; and Dance Rehearsal: Karen Kilimnik’s World of Ballet  and Theatre (2012-13), organized by the Mills College Art Museum, Oakland and which travelled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.  Feldman has taught at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, the California College of Art, San Francisco, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Goldsmith’s College, London, and is credited with organizing the first American monographic exhibitions for Kilimnik, Martin Kippenberger, and Hiroshi Sugimoto in the early nineties as a curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

More About Cornish College of the Arts

Cornish College of the Arts awards Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in art, dance, design, performance production and theater, a Bachelor of Music, and a post-graduate Artist Diploma in Early Music.

Since its establishment, the College’s founder Nellie Cornish, and the many teaching artists who followed her, believed in education through exposure to all the arts. This approach continues to inform the College’s curriculum and community involvement today. Cornish is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Cornish College of the Arts has been honored to steward the Neddy Artist Awards on behalf of the Behnke family and the community since 2011.