21st Annual Neddy Artist Awards

New Art from the Pacific Northwest: The 21st Annual Neddy Artist Awards Exhibition

Curated by Melissa Feldman

January 27th- February 24th, 2018

a group exhibition of work by the 2017  Neddy Award Artists

Christopher Jordan    * 2017 Neddy Artist Award winner in Painting

Che Sehyun                  * 2017 Neddy Artist Award winner in Open Medium

Gretchen Bennett
Marita Dingus
Dakota Gearhart
Tuan Nguyen
Barbara Sternberger
Gillian Theobald


21st Annual Neddy Artist Awards opening night: (right to left) Gretchen Bennett, Melissa Feldman, Barbara Sternberger, Gillian Theobald, Christopher Paul Jordan, Che Sehyun (holding Suh Joon Che), Renee and Carl Behnke, Star Hang Nga Rush and Tuan Nguyen | Missing from photo: Marita Dingus and Dakota Gearhart (photo credit: Winifred Westergard)


“For the public, this show provides the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of the Pacific Northwest arts community. “This year’s group of Neddy finalists and winners is the most diverse we’ve ever had in so many ways–ethnically, geographically (with artists hailing from Tacoma, Bellingham, and Auburn), stylistically, and even age-wise,” said Feldman. “It’s a new glimpse of art from the Pacific NW, with only one of the artists having been shortlisted before for the Neddy.  Most will be new discoveries for our audiences. I’m also excited about the performative element that is part of many of the artists’ work, painters included.  The video program will show how, for some of the artists, the performative takes the form of public address via songs, music, dancing, teaching and mural painting.”

National Juror Claire Tancons has selected local artists Christopher Paul Jordan and Che Sehyun as the recipients of this year’s Neddy Artist Awards, each of whom will receive an unrestricted grant of $25,000. In her summary of her selections, Tancons pointed that Jordan in painting and Sehyun in open medium bring a “multicultural savvy” to their work through a deep connection to their heritage and the youth in their communities.

“As it turns out, community engagement, always at the heart of the Neddy in relation to its namesake the late Ned Behnke’s life as an artist, is central to the work of both Neddy winners this year, Christopher Paul Jordan (painting) and Che Seyhun (open medium),” noted Feldman.

Special Programming: 

February 10, 5:00 – 5:45 PM  – Artist Reading- Followed by Reception

“Passenger,” a reading by Gretchen Bennett (2017 Neddy finalist), followed by a “Meet & Greet” (6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) with all the exhibiting artists.

February 17, 4:00 – 5:00 PM – Theorizing Generosity as a Creative Practice

A conversation between Christopher Paul Jordan (2017 Neddy winner) and C. Davida Ingram (2016 Neddy finalist).

 February 24, 3:00 – 4:00 PM – Connecting the Future to the Ancient

A live multimedia performance of hip-hop infused songs and stories by Che Seyhun (2017 Neddy winner)

A featured program of the Neddy Artist Awards, this exhibition of the 2017 finalists and award winners is funded by the Behnke Foundation and stewarded by Cornish College of the Arts as a tribute to Seattle painter and teacher Ned Behnke (1948-1989).

Cornish College of the Arts prepares its students to contribute to society as artists, citizens and innovators. The Neddy Artist Awards are a beacon of this mission. 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. Any artist who is a U.S. citizen living and working in Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Skagit, San Juan, Snohomish, Thurston, or Whatcom counties in Washington state is welcome to apply.

Please check with Cornish in April 2018 for an update on the 2018 call for applications.