SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and the Betty Bowen Committee, chaired by Gary Glant, announced the five artists selected as finalists for this year’s Betty Bowen Award: Andrea Joyce Heimer, Anthony Hudson, Adair Rutledge, Lynne Siefert, and Anthony White. The juried award honors a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work.
The award was founded in 1977 to honor the legacy of Betty Bowen (1918–1977), who was an avid champion of artists in the Pacific Northwest. Founded by Bowen’s friends, the award is administered by SAM.
The Betty Bowen Committee—comprising Northwest curators, collectors, and artists—reviewed 545 applications from visual artists residing in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. One of this year’s finalists will receive an unrestricted cash award in the amount of $15,000 and will have their work displayed at the Seattle Art Museum. At the discretion of the committee, up to two Special Recognition Awards of $2,500 may be granted.
Last year’s winner was Natalie Ball, whose solo exhibition at SAM is currently on view through November 17, 2019. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Snake features two mixed-media sculptures incorporating a wide range of materials—including animal hides, clothing, and synthetic hair—that creates a new narrative around Indigenous experiences and identities.
The winner of the 41st Annual Betty Bowen Award will be announced in September. The award will be formally presented in a free and open to the public celebration at the Seattle Art Museum on October 29th, 2019. The winner’s solo exhibition will be on view at SAM in spring 2020.
Evening Forecast, Anthony White, 2018, Polylactic Acid (PLA) on Panel, 60 x 42 x 1 in., Courtesy of artist, © Anthony White and Greg Kucera Gallery
Generations, Lynne Siefert, 2019, Still from Multichannel Installation Shot on 16mm Film to Digital, 0 x 0 x 0 in., Courtesy of artist, © Lynne Siefert
Trail , Adair Freeman Rutledge, 2017, archival pigment print series, 20 x 30 x 0 in., Courtesy of artist, © Adair Freeman Rutledge
W*RQ (with Kaj-anne Pepper, Anthony Hudson/Carla Rossi, 2016, performance documentation, 0 x 0 x 0 in., Courtesy of artist, © Anthony Hudson/Carla Rossi
The 1988 Wildfires in Montana Were Caused, In Part, By Unattended Campfires and Burned All Summer Long Until It Seemed Like the Whole World Was Aflame, Andrea Joyce Heimer, 2019, acrylic on panel, 60 x 80 x 2 in., Courtesy of artist, © Andrea Joyce Heimer.
Andrea Joyce Heimer – Ferndale, WA
Andrea Joyce Heimer creates complex narrative paintings. Adopted at birth, Heimer paints autobiographical mythologies as a means of confronting the dearth of information about her family history and ancestry. With this imaginative storytelling, Heimer addresses feelings of loneliness, separation, and the notion of family.
Anthony Hudson – Portland, OR
Anthony Hudson is an artist using queer drag in performance and video as a form of sharp satire and cultural critique. The artist’s character, Carla Rossi, a drag clown and the “ghost of white privilege,” embodies a queer and racially “mixed” heritage to confront whiteness and assimilation. By using the sardonic objective of a clown who says one thing while doing the opposite, Hudson challenges ideas of race, gender, and sexuality, how normative society projects these ideas, and how we remain complicit.
Adair Rutledge – Seattle, WA
Adair Rutledge hails from a small town in Alabama. As a photographer, she questions enduring cultural traditions and its relations with current realities. In her most recent work, Rutledge returned to her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to document the Azalea Trail Maids—a nearly 100-year-old court where a group of fifty high school girls, dressed in the signature antebellum dresses, embody ideals of Southern hospitality and act as ambassadors for the town. This series of photographs juxtaposes the implicit traumatic histories represented by the fashions of the Southern Belle, worn by female members of wealthy white families, with the diverse, contemporary women who wear them for one day.
Lynne Siefert – Seattle, WA
Shooting on 16mm film and digitally, Lynne Siefert creates experimental non-fiction films and world-scapes to address the current climate crisis. Her work is often satirical or uncanny, pointing to political complacency and cultural amnesia in the wake of climate change. The tensions between industry and recreation are a driving element in recent works. By re-contextualizing common, everyday scenes, Siefert de-familiarizes the world to uncover what is hidden in plain sight.
Anthony White – Seattle, WA
Anthony White was born in Santa Maria, California and currently lives and works in Seattle. As a sculptor and painter, White identifies personal memorabilia within domestic and digital spaces, seeking to discover why certain consumer objects and ideas are idealized. Examining the framing of social media and selfies, he captures moments from behind the cell-phone lens by painstakingly painting each scene with melted consumer obtainable plastics.