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Dawn Cerny wins the 2020 Betty Bowen Award
Dawn Cerny, The farm that was there and then not, 2020, wood, hand-blown glass, plaster tape, wire, paint, clay, 27 x 22 x 14 in., Courtesy of the artist, © Dawn Cerny.



SEATTLE, WA.- The Seattle Art Museum and the Betty Bowen Committee, chaired by Gary Glant, announced that Dawn Cerny is the winner of the 2020 Betty Bowen Award. The juried award comes with an unrestricted cash award of $15,000 and a solo exhibition at SAM. Founded in 1977 to continue the legacy of local arts advocate and supporter Betty Bowen, the annual award honors a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work.

Cerny’s sculptures, made of inexpensive and readily available materials such as wood, wire, and cardboard, explore what she refers to as “the theater of Home.” Recent solo shows include Oxbow, Seattle (2020), the Portland Art Museum (2017), and the Henry Art Gallery (2017). In 2016, she was the recipient of a Betty Bowen Special Recognition Award and in 2019 was an Artist in Residence at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA. Her work will be featured at the Seattle Art Museum in a solo exhibition in 2021, dates to be announced.

In addition, Elijah Hasan won the Special Recognition Award and Tariqa Waters won the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award, with awards in the amount of $2,500 each. Finalists Roland Dahwen, Marilyn Montufar, and Christian Alborz Oldham will each receive awards in the amount of $1,250, added by the committee this year in recognition of the financial hardships many creatives are facing due to the coronavirus. The six finalists were chosen from a pool of 615 applicants from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to compete for the $23,750 in awards.




Last year’s winner was Lynne Siefert, the first filmmaker to win the award. Her work will be featured at the Seattle Art Museum in a solo exhibition opening October 16, 2020.

2020 BETTY BOWEN WINNER
Dawn Cerny - Seattle, WA

Cerny’s sculptures explore the idea of “home” as both a concept and a place, and as an arena rich for investigation. Her recent body of work examines ideas of furniture and mothers as metaphors: figures that secure value for their potential to hold, display, or be absentmindedly left with things. This pattern of holding as the creation of intimacy and belonging, pleasure, and self-preservation plays out repeatedly in her work.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Elijah Hasan - Portland, OR

Hasan is a writer, filmmaker, and director. His projects lay bare the realities of systemic racism, social justice, and activism, exploring subjects such as the experiences of Black police officers in the Portland police department and the parallels between Americans who fought in the Spanish Civil War and contemporary members of Antifa. He centers the stories of Black communities as they navigate these realities, all while on a personal journey of artistic and spiritual growth.

KAYLA SKINNER SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Tariqa Waters - Seattle, WA

Waters’ whimsical, Pop-inspired work references childhood memories where vanity and self-preservation collide to mask systemic and generational pain. Her work examines ideas of femininity, beauty, race, sexuality, and inclusion. Using photography, videography, and sculptural fabrication, Waters attempts to create innovative ways to distort reality to the point where marginalization is impossible.










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