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Tacoma Art Museum Presents 2007 Neddy Artist Fellowship
Charles Krafft, Sal Mineo Bunny, 2006. Hand-painted earthenware, 10 x 4 ½ x 2 ½ inches. Courtesy of the artist.

TACOMA, WA.- Tacoma Art Museum presents the works of the eight 2007 Neddy Artist Fellowship Finalists this summer. The Behnke Family and Behnke Foundation recently announced this year’s two fellowship recipients. Whiting Tennis was selected for painting. Buddy Bunting and Victoria Haven were also nominated. Charles Krafft was chosen for ceramics. Yuki Nakamura, Eric Nelsen, Alex Schweder, and Tip Toland were his fellow nominees. The exhibition of work by these eight artists will be on view June 2 through August 19, 2007, at Tacoma Art Museum . The two Fellows will be publicly honored at an award ceremony Saturday, June 9 starting at 6 pm. Admission is free for members and $10 for non-members.

This is the third year Tacoma Art Museum has collaborated with the Behnke Family and Behnke Foundation to host the exhibition of finalists for this prestigious award. The 2007 nominees represent the diversity of artistic production in the Northwest, ranging from the site-specific wall paintings of Victoria Haven, to the ceramic work of “Disasterware” creator Charles Krafft, to the stark large-scale paintings of California prisons by Buddy Bunting.

“Our partnership with the Behnke Family and Behnke Foundation is so important to us because we share the common goal of highlighting exemplary artists in the Northwest,” said Tacoma Art Museum Director Stephanie Stebich. “The Neddy Fellowship is one of only a handful of prestigious regional awards and we are honored to be a part of their efforts to celebrate the region’s talents.”

The Neddy Artist Fellowship is one of the few large awards granted to visual artists in the Northwest. It was established in 1995 as a memorial to Robert E. (Ned) Behnke (1948-1989) by the Behnke family and the Behnke Foundation, who sought to honor Ned’s contributions to the Northwest artistic community. The Fellowship is an unrestricted cash award to a Northwest artist who demonstrates artistic excellence, innovation, unique vision, and a passionate commitment to his or her art and community. Originally conceived as an award for painters, the Neddy was soon expanded to recognize work by artists in other mediums. This is the first year that ceramic artists will be a focus.

“The Neddy Fellowship showcases some of the region’s most intriguing artists,” said Rock Hushka , Tacoma Art Museum ’s Director of Curatorial Administration and Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art. “This year’s nominees cover a great deal of conceptual territory. Work by Tip Toland and Buddy Bunting offer profound examinations of the human condition. Artists like Victoria Haven, Yuki Nakamura, and Eric Nelsen explore more formalist concerns, such as the illusion of space, or push the boundaries of traditional ceramics. All of the artists have made important contributions to the artistic dialogue of the Northwest.”

The exhibition will include works by each of the finalists, and will be selected primarily from the artists’ studios, private collections, and Tacoma Art Museum ’s permanent collection.

The 2007 Neddy Artist Fellowship is generously supported by The Behnke Foundation and The Behnke Family.

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