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Behind the Curtain: Twining Humber Award

Megan Gallagher

Communications Intern

Barbara Earl Thomas, Blood Letting, paper cut drawing, 2016. Photo: Robert Wade

Since 2001, the Twining Humber Award has provided over $150,000 in unrestricted funds for self-identified female visual artists in Washington State. It is the only award in Washington specifically for women ages 60 and older and seeks to recognize the recipient’s artistic excellence, professional accomplishment, and dedication to the arts throughout her career.

The resulting award provides one Washington State female visual artist with $10,000 in unrestricted funds each year. Past recipients of the Twining Humber Award include Ann Leda Shapiro (2017), Barbara Earl Thomas (2016), Deborah Lawrence (2015), and Barbara Noah (2011).

Funding for the award comes from a donation to Artist Trust’s Endowment Fund made by Yvonne Twining Humber (1907-2004). As a young woman pursuing a career as a painter in the early 20th Century, Yvonne balanced her advancements as an artist with the realities of providing for herself and her family. Remembering those struggles and upon discovering that a series of investments she’d made had grown well beyond her expectations, Yvonne approached Artist Trust about creating a funding source specifically for female artists.

Application Process
Applications for the Twining Humber Award are open to Washington State visual artists who self-identify as female, are age 60 or older, and have been dedicated 25 or more years to creating art (years do not need to be consecutive). Applications consist of a biography, artist statement, impact statement, resume, letter of recommendation, and collection of up to 25 work samples.

Once the application closes, submissions are reviewed by a three-person panel of artists and arts professionals. Panelists review the submissions based on the creative excellence and long-standing dedication to artistic practice demonstrated in the work samples and supporting materials. Panelists are also encouraged to look at applications through a lens of racial equity.

Interested in Applying?
Applications for the 2018 Twining Humber Award are open until March 12. Applicants who submit before February 26 are eligible to receive preliminary feedback and submit a revised application. The award recipient will be announced in June 2018. To learn more about the awards and submit your application, click here.

Megan Gallagher is a writer from Redmond, Washington. She currently serves as Artist Trust’s Communications Intern.