Announcing the 2024 Twining Humber and SOLA Awards Recipients!

Published: June 27, 2024

Categories: Artists | Featured | Grants & Fellowships | Visual

2024 Twining Humber & SOLA Awards Recipients

$35,000 awarded to six Washington State visual artists!

We are thrilled to award the 2024 Twining Humber Lifetime Achievement Award to Betty Pasco of Kitsap County and five SOLA Awards to Jan Dove of Clallam County, Ellen George of Clark County, Jan Hopkins of Snohomish County, Lauren Grossman of King County, and Natalie Niblack of Skagit County.

The Twining Humber Award (THA) is an unrestricted award of $10,000 given annually to a Washington State self-identified woman visual artist, age 60 or over, who has dedicated 25 years or more to creating art. The award is made possible by a generous gift to the Artist Trust Endowment by the Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Fund for Artistic Excellence. Learn more about the life and legacy of Yvonne Twining Humber here (PDF).

“I am very humbled and grateful to receive this award in recognition of my creative work,” shares recipient Betty Pasco. “The award funds will allow me to honor family members who have gone before me by improving the conditions of our family’s cemetery on Phinney Bay; another way of Connecting Spirits.”

Founded in 2016 by Seattle artist Ginny Ruffner and funded by her friends’ generous contributions, the SOLA (Support Old Lady Artist) Awards are five unrestricted awards of $5,000 given annually to Washington State female-identified visual artists, age 60 or over, who have dedicated 25 years or more to creating art. These awards recognize artistic excellence, professional accomplishment, and longstanding dedication to the visual arts. Read more about the SOLA organization and their work at! 

“I am honored to receive a SOLA award from Artist Trust,” says Jan Dove. “In the past I have experienced recognition for my work, but the SOLA Award is of a different category. It rewards an “old lady artist” just for her endurance in choosing to spend her life in a creative and under-recognized sphere. I think this is a commitment too-little acknowledged in our society. I thank Ginny Ruffner and Artist Trust for making it possible.”

In collaboration with Ginny Ruffner, we are proud to offer five unrestricted grants of $5,000 in 2024, an increase from four unrestricted grants of $5,000 in 2022 and 2023, and a further increase from three grants of $3,000 in years past. As of the 2022 grant cycle, SOLA includes an award that specifically honors a Black, Indigenous, and person of color (BIPOC) artist, which is part of an overall strategy to reverse historic inequities in our funding programs and move resources to Washington State communities without access to other funding for individual artists.

“This year, we’re excited to disperse the most award money in the history of the SOLA and Twining Humber Awards, with $35,000 awarded to six artists from six different Washington State counties,” shares Artist Trust Program Co-Director Lydia Boss. “We are pleased that our efforts to expand the reach of these awards in recent years have been successful. 32% of 2024 applicants applied for the first time, with the full pool of applicants representing 20 different counties. We are also thrilled to celebrate Betty Pasco as the first Indigenous artist to receive the Twining Humber Award.”

Read more about the recipients and full lists of the recipients and panelists below: 

2024 Twining Humber Award Recipient 

Betty Pasco, Kitsap County

2024 SOLA Awards Recipients  

Jan Dove, Clallam County
Ellen George, Clark County
Jan Hopkins, Snohomish County
Lauren Grossman, King County
Natalie Niblack, Skagit County

2024 Twining Humber & SOLA Awards Panelists  

Kamla Kakaria, King County
Sheila Klein, Skagit County
Lenora Lopez Schindler, Spokane County

Betty Pasco, 2024 Twining Humber Award Recipient


Betty Pasco, 2024 Twining Humber Award Recipient
Betty Pasco, Simply Salish, natural hand dyed wool yarn by the artist, 19″w x 25″h weaving, 2018, Photo Credit: Duane Pasco

Betty Pasco is a Suquamish tribal elder and highly accomplished Salish weaver, traditional basket maker, graphic artist, clothing designer, and illustrator.

After raising five children, her journey as an artist got a boost when at age 60, with a newly earned GED, she enrolled at Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts where she earned an Associate Degree in Museum Studies and gained professional experience staging exhibits for the Institute. Her time in Santa Fe was a period of rebirth for her and ignited her desire to pursue art in earnest.

Betty has dedicated her creative life to learning the traditional art of her people. Her art is created to share a message, to honor and respect a time in history and culture, to emit emotion with color and design. Her direction is always evolving. She enjoys working with a variety of materials and challenging herself with complex designs.

Of all her life’s accomplishments, Betty is most proud of her work to preserve the arts and culture of her ancestors through mentoring others, especially Native girls. If there is a legacy in the work she has done for future generations, Betty hopes it is of Connecting Spirits.

Learn more about Betty Pasco »

Jan Dove, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient


Jan Dove
Jan Dove, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient
Jan Dove, Don't GoJan Dove, Don’t Go, Artist Book (crushed and sewn print in found box), 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 6″ (closed)

Jan is that first grader you knew who bumped into chairs on the way to reading group because she was busy looking at clouds through the transom window. Over fifteen years as a single mother working full time, she somehow stumbled her way through Cal State Hayward where she graduated with high honors. Then the School of the Art Institute of Chicago awarded her a complete scholarship to earn an MFA in Printmaking.

For the wonderful training received, Jan is happy to have been able to give back, because along with a highly productive studio practice, she worked as both an arts teacher and arts administrator in the California Prison system.

Her photos, drawings, and artist books have been shown internationally and she has been honored with Artist Residencies at Blue Mountain Center in New York, Ucross in Wyoming, Hypatia-in-the-Woods in Shelton, WA, and Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, WA. She has received awards and grants from the California Arts Council, the Alameda County Arts Commission, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Currently she maintains a small studio in Port Angeles. Jan is active in the Book Arts Guild in Seattle and the Puget Sound Book Artists in Tacoma. She serves on the board of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. Her art influences are Kathe Kollwitz, Artemesia Gentileschi, and Anonymous from the cave wall tradition.

Learn more about Jan Dove »

Ellen George, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient


Ellen George
Ellen George, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient
Ellen George, Sensing 2Ellen George, Sensing (2), gouache, egg tempera, casein, silverpoint, gold metalpoint, birch panel, 8 ½ ” x 6”, 2023, Photo: Mario Gallucci

A Chinese artist born on Galveston Island in 1957, Ellen George’s earliest memories are visions of tiny aquatic life, teeming in drops of Gulf water collected and seen under the microscope in her parent’s laboratory. Motility, clustering, translucency, and shift of scale of these microscopic animals and plants inform her work to this day.

Ellen’s Taiji practice supports intense concentration and internal listening that conveys to her studio practice. Drawing the first silverpoint line, she listens in silence, reacting along a continuum of considerations in paint and line, until a harmony is realized. Forms emerge through the patient process of layering and micro-adjustments. As she breathes through the brush, there is expansion and circularity. The work becomes a coalescence of environment and interior as the image comes to life.

Ellen’s work has been exhibited at the Tacoma Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), Morris Graves Museum of Art (Eureka, CA) and Whatcom Museum of Art (Bellingham, WA). A member of Nine Gallery (housed in Blue Sky Gallery Portland, OR), Ellen has created numerous installation exhibitions for that space. Her work is included in the collections of 4Culture and King County Public Art, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Oregon Health and Science University, Oregon State University, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Tacoma Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, and the Microsoft Collection.

Learn more about Ellen George »

Jan Hopkins, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient


Jan Hopkins
Jan Hopkins, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient
Jan Hopkins, Oh EleanorJan Hopkins, Oh Eleanor, Grapefruit peel, cantaloupe peel, ginkgo leaves, ostrich shell beads, cedar bark and waxed linen. 301/2”x28”x12”, 2012, Photo: Ken Rowe

Jan Hopkins is an innovative sculptural fiber artist whose work weaves together a harmonious blend of creativity, texture, and form with unique but mundane natural materials such as fruit peels, fish skins, leaves, petals, and seed pods. Each piece tells a unique story, inviting viewers to engage with the interplay of narratives contained in each piece.

Captivated by indigenous basketry viewed at the Heard Museum, she sought out classes, studying with both traditional and contemporary basket makers. She honed her craft through years of dedicated exploration and experimenting with various techniques and materials. Her work has now evolved to complex sculptural art. Jan Hopkins’ sculptural fiber art is a testament to the enduring power of creativity and the profound beauty that is found in the simplest of materials. Her work invites us to pause, reflect, and connect with the wonder that surrounds us in everyday life.

Learn more about Jan Hopkins »

Lauren Grossman, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient


Lauren Grossman
Lauren Grossman, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient
Lauren Grossman, She-AssLauren Grossman, She-Ass, Ceramic, glaze, steel, paint, artificial sinew, ink, 39 x31 x13 inches, 2024. Photo: Masao Everett

Ranging in scale from intimate objects to sited installations, Lauren Grossman’s provocative work wrestles with the ever-shifting meanings of Judeo/Christian imagery in contemporary culture. Often repurposing mechanisms and salvaging scrap, her sculpture embraces the well-worn qualities of the materials as well as the allusions.

Many of her pieces invite interactivity—lifting, pushing, cranking, circumambulation—adding complexity (and occasional humor) to the relationship between object and viewer. Another persistent thread in her work investigates the physicality of language, translating written word into sculptural form.

Lauren was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She graduated from the University of Washington ceramics program in 1983 and remained in Seattle to establish her broad-ranging studio practice. Lauren has taught occasionally at the UW, including the Rome Program, and also worked with a variety of students from incarcerated people to elementary school children. Over the years, Lauren has concocted more than twenty solo shows in commercial, non-profit, and academic gallery spaces. Reviews of her work have appeared in Art In America, Sculpture, American Ceramics, Artweek, and other periodicals, books, and blogs. Her honors include a Flintridge Foundation Award, two Groot Foundation awards, a Seattle Artists Award, a Pilchuck Artist-in-residency, and two Kohler Arts/Industry residencies.

Learn more about Lauren Grossman »

Natalie Niblack, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient


Natalie Niblack
Natalie Niblack, 2024 SOLA Award Recipient
Natalie Niblack, Spotted OwlNatalie Niblack, Spotted Owl, one of 66 paintings in the installation, “66 Birds/ 3 Degrees”, oil on linen, 18″ X 18″, 2023

Natalie Niblack was born into a military family, which meant moving every 3 years. She didn’t call any place home until landing in Northwest Washington in 1979, where she has been ever since.

Belonging and stewardship for what we call “home” has increasingly informed her work since moving from Seattle to rural Skagit Valley in 2000. She lives next to Skagit River, where she can observe the pressures of conflicting demands on a fragile landscape, and her work has come to reflect accelerated change in our culture- change in the climate, environment, politics, and social justice. She asks the viewer to recognize the consequences of our relationship with the environment, and the choices we have collectively made that are inevitably altering the world around us. Her most recent work focuses on threats to bird species, near extinctions, and specie recovery in large projects painted in oil on linen.

While her first love is painting, she also creates political and social satires in ceramics, and even more birds in glass and relief printmaking. She is committed to exhibiting work in rural public spaces where challenging work is rarely seen, especially in the Pacific Northwest. She feels it is important to bring the conversation about climate to as many places as possible.

Niblack taught visual art at Shoreline Community College from 1996 to 2016. She received an MFA from Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland in 1993 and has shown her work in solo and group shows internationally, nationally, and regionally.

Learn more about Natalie Niblack »

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