Call Detail

The 2016 Neddy Artist Awards
The Neddy at Cornish
Cornish College of the Arts
1000 Lenora St.
Seattle, WA, 98121

Contact Email:
Call Type: Award
Eligibility: Local
State: Washington
Entry Deadline: 4/17/16
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 15
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 15

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 professional artist awards available 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.  
The Neddy Artist Awards, established in 1996 by the Behnke family, honors the art, accomplishments and community involvement of Seattle painter and teacher Robert E. “Ned” Behnke (1948-1989). When stewardship of the awards program moved to Cornish College of the Arts in 2011, its impact was expanded and deepened—for Cornish students, the artist community, and the general public—with the addition of an accompanying series of lectures, programs and activities.
In 1996, the Behnke family founded the Neddy Artist Awards, as a way to honor and remember Ned Behnke. 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 transferred to Cornish College of the Arts, where the program was refreshed and expanded to optimize its potential at an institution of higher learning. 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 all professional artists in the Puget Sound region. Currently, the Neddy Artist Awards are among the largest awards in the State of Washington, providing two annual unrestricted gifts of $25,000, and six unrestricted gifts of $1,500.
Cornish College of the Arts has expanded and deepened the awards program for artists and audiences, with a series of lectures, programs and activities, as well as customized opportunities for awardee-student engagement.
There are two Neddy Artist Awards each year. Recipients will demonstrate artistic distinction through an established body of work and a commitment to their practice. In honor of Ned and his passion for painting, one Neddy Artist Award celebrates artists that continue to innovate through this traditional medium. Reflecting the ever-increasing possibilities in contemporary art practices, one Neddy Artist Award honors artists that work in any medium or combination of media grounded in the visual arts.
Ned Behnke embodied Cornish College of the Art’s mission of developing artists as citizens—individuals who create outstanding artwork with an applied consciousness of responsibility to society. As the awards honor Ned’s legacy, Neddy Artist Award recipients will reflect and embody his belief in the power of art and artists to be positive forces in our world. The criteria for both awards are:
1. Demonstrated commitment to and ongoing development of one’s artistic vision
2. Demonstrated engagement with the world through art practice, broadly understood
Artists who apply for a Neddy Artist Award must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Be U.S. citizens and full-time residents of Washington State, residing in the greater Puget Sound region (Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, Skagit, San Juan, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties)
  • Be 18 years of age or older during the time of application
  • Be currently active, demonstrating an ongoing pattern of 
producing and presenting work
  •       Previous Neddy Artist Awardees of the $25,000 prize are ineligible to reapply. Previous Neddy Artist Finalists, recipients of the $1,500 prize, are eligible to reapply.
  • Students currently enrolled in either undergraduate or graduate degree programs at the 
time of application are ineligible. Applicants are invited to contact program staff with questions about eligibility. Those who have completed all degree requirements at the time of application, but have yet to matriculate may be eligible pending verification. Please contact program staff for more information.
  • Cornish College of the Arts full-time core and interim core faculty and trustees are ineligible.
Applicants must fulfill the online application requirements (visit for details on image/file preparation and other submission information) by the application deadline. 
A panel of three regional arts professionals review all applications and select four artists in two categories (PAINTING and OPEN MEDIUM), for a total of eight finalists. From this pool of eight finalists, a single national juror from outside the region reviews each application packet and visits each artist studio, ultimately selecting one artist in each category to receive the $25,000 award.
 Final Round: A single juror from outside the region conducts studio visits with each of the eight artists. Studio visits will be scheduled with the artists in late July of the award year (2016), and will be facilitated by the Neddy Artist Award program staff.
Notification: Following the studio visits, the juror selects the two Neddy Artist Award recipients of $25,000. The remaining six finalists will also receive special recognition through a $1,500 award. The Neddy program director notifies all award recipients. 
·      Two Neddy Artist Award recipients each receive $25,000
·      Six Neddy Artist Award finalists each receive $1,500
·      Artwork by all eight Neddy Artist Award artists will be featured in a group exhibition in Autumn 2016.
·      A documentary video, produced by Reel Grrls Productions, will be created for each artist 
         -  April 17: Open call application deadline.
         - June: Finalists announced.
         -  Late July: Studio visits with final selector.
         -  August: Announcement of awardees.
         -  Autumn: The Neddy Artist Awards Exhibition opens
         -  September -May: Artist programs developed and presented
The Neddy Artist Award program offers unrestricted $25,000 awards to artists who demonstrate a distinctive artistic practice or perspective and who engage with the community at large. To deepen the impact of these awards, Cornish College of the Arts develops a yearlong series of events and activities to honor and support the work of the recipients, and will, where feasible, make additional resources available to the artists.
After an initial conversation with program staff, and depending on their interests and availability, the Neddy Artist Award artists can elect to suggest or develop programs themselves, or can rely on program staff to shape events that reflect and highlight the awardees’ areas of artistic endeavor. Programming possibilities include, but are not limited to artist talks, studio visits, student critiques, panel discussions, or additional exhibitions. In addition to these programs and the annual exhibition, the College will host an annual Neddy Artist Awards Lecture, inviting an artist or scholar of stature to the campus for a talk and discussion of timely issues relevant to the mission of the Neddy Artist Award. Please contact Cornish College of the Arts if you have any questions regarding the application process email
All applications must be submitted online at CaFÉ ( by10:59 pm PST on TBD. The CaFÉ website will guide applicants through the submission process. Applications sent by mail, submitted in person, or arriving late or incomplete will not be considered.

*IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICANTS SUBMITTING MORE THAN TWO VIDEO OR AUDIO WORK SAMPLES : You are allowed to submit up to 6. The application interface is not presently allowing for more than two video or audio samples. To circumvent this,please submit your (up to four) additional samples to via WeTransfer, Dropbox or Google Drive. File sizes and formats should adhere to the existing CaFE guidelines found here.
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