The Neddy Artist Award offers one of the largest, unrestricted artist awards in the Pacific Northwest, providing two gifts to visual artists based in the Puget Sound region every year. The Neddy Artist Award program is funded by the Behnke Foundation and stewarded by Cornish College of the Arts as a tribute to the Seattle painter and teacher Robert E. [Ned] Behnke (1948-1989).
Deaf from birth, Ned Behnke expressed himself in the visual arts from an early age. He lived and worked in Seattle, where he taught art to hearing-impaired students at Cornish College of the Arts, and other institutions. His legacy is evident throughout our community, through the generous philanthropy of the Behnke family.
Noting how the award impacted him, artist Juan Alonso-Rodríguez said, “I was the second artist to receive the Neddy. What it did for my career, far surpassed its immediate financial benefits. This prestigious award and stamp of approval not only increased my visibility and sales but also led to opportunities I may not have had without it. I will always be grateful for the honor of being a recipient and for the Behnke family’s generous tribute to Ned.”
“This exhibit reintroduces the recipients of the past 25 years to an audience that remains interested in art as an essential part of civic life. Audiences will experience works that represent where these artists are now in their personal lives and in their practices,” said curator Negarra A. Kudumu. Learn more about the curator’s vision for the 25-year celebration of the Neddy’s and about the Neddy Artist Award program at Cornish College of the Arts.