Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Twining Humber Award

Published: October 15, 2021

Categories: Artists | Featured | Grants & Fellowships


In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Twining Humber Award, Claudia Bach and 2013 Twining Humber Award Recipient Norie Sato discuss Yvonne Twining Humber’s legacy and background, the development of Washington State’s creative ecosystem, and the impact of the Twining Humber Awards. Please join us in celebrating this award, Yvonne Twining Humber, and our community!


Norie Sato is an artist whose artwork for public places over the past 25 years has incorporated individual, collaborative, design team and planning of public art projects. Much of her work involves collaboration with architects and integration with the site or context. She works from site and context-driven ideas first, then finds the appropriate form and materials. She strives to add meaning and human touch to the built environment and to consider edges, transitions, culture and connections to the environment. Norie‘s current and past work encompasses transit/transportation facilities, airports, libraries, universities, infrastructure, parks, and other civic structures. She works in sculpture, glass, terrazzo floors, integrated design work, landscape, video and light. In her studio work, she includes large works on paper and printmaking to the list of media. She has been active in the Seattle art scene since the 70s, when she was involved with and/or, an artist-run space, and as a commissioner on the Seattle Arts Commission in the nascent days of Seattle’s public art program. In addition, her own work in video, glass and on paper has been exhibited at galleries and museums around the country.

Her public art work has been recognized five times by the Public Art Network’s Year in Review. Recently, she produced a 300 ft. long glass façade for the San Francisco International Airport, artwork for University of Iowa and Iowa State University, and the new Port of Portland Headquarters. She has made work for the Arabian Library and McDowell Mountain Ranch Aquatic Center, both in Scottsdale AZ, and Miami International Airport. She was lead artist for Sound Transit’s Seattle Central Link Light Rail and has worked on transit systems in Portland, Salt Lake City and Tempe, Arizona. She was a member of the Seattle Design Commission which reviews city capital projects within the city of Seattle and is a former council member of the Public Art Network, a national organization focused on public art.

Claudia Bach has over twenty-five years of professional experience in management, training and consulting focusing on the arts and cultural sectors. Ms. Bach’s work in senior management in the museum field has been complemented by her consulting practice, AdvisArts, which she founded in 1982. Her clients include museums, community and governmental entities, arts and cultural organizations, arts commissions, and individual artists. Her expertise includes strategic and program planning, board development, communications, community affairs, partnership development, educational programming, research and evaluation. She brings a special interest in cross sector relationships and endeavors, especially those building bridges between traditional and non-traditional partners. Ms. Bach represents the Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Fund for Artistic Excellence.

The Twining Humber Award is an unrestricted award of $10,000 given annually to a Washington State female-identified 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 from the painter Yvonne Twining Humber (1907-2004), who established the Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Fund for Artistic Excellence to support the grant through Artist Trust in recognition of female-identified artists who oftentimes must interrupt or postpone art-making in order to answer the demands of family life. The award recognizes artistic excellence, professional accomplishment, and longstanding dedication to the visual arts.

You can read more about Yvonne Twining Humber and her legacy here. You can find some of her artwork at the Frye Museum here.