News / Press Releases

Artist Trust Announces Eight Finalists for the 2011 Arts Innovator Award

For Immediate Release:

Artist Trust is excited to announce the eight finalists to be moved into the final judging process for the 2011 Arts Innovator Award.

Artist Trust’s Arts Innovator Awards support Washington State generative artists of any discipline who are originating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks and pushing the boundaries in their field. At $25,000 each, these exceptional awards are the largest available to individual artists of Washington State. Four panels consisting of three expert jurors each selected the applicants in Literary, Media, Performing and Visual Arts.

In addition to the two $25,000 Arts Innovator Awards, two Arts Innovator Special Recognition Awards of $2,500 each will also be awarded to two finalists.

As part of the open application process, Artist Trust received 133 applications from artists across the State practicing in a variety of disciplines. Panels of artists and arts professionals, experts in their fields from across Washington State, engaged in an adjudication process that narrowed the pool down to eight finalists. Two recipients of the Arts Innovator Award and two Arts Innovator Special Recognition recipients will be selected in a final adjudication round that will consist of one member of each of the discipline-specific panels and one out-of-state panelist.

The Arts Innovator Award and Arts Innovator Special Recognition recipients will be announced on September 28, 2011. 

Learn more about the Arts Innovator Award.

The eight finalists:

  • Daniel Beltrá is a photographer whose passion for environmental conservation has led him to create works that are evocatively poignant while being strikingly beautiful.
  • Pat Graney is a choreographer who has taken her work into diverse communities, creating new and enduring connections to art.
  • Gary Hill works with a broad range of media – including sculpture, sound, video, installation and performance – creating immersive works that are ground-breaking and influential.
  • Eyvind Kang is a composer, arranger, performer and multi-instrumentalist whose work spans and masters a variety of genres.
  • Megan Kelso is a graphic novelist and literary artist whose work surprises in its ability to gently address social issues.
  • Frances McCue is a poet, teacher and arts instigator whose current work addresses deeply personal issues with a writing style that, while rooted in form, is new and inspiring.
  • Brian Short is a filmmaker, writer, composer and visual artist. Brian creates mesmerizing hypnotic works that are meditations on time, medium and form.
  • Sutton/Beres/Culler is a trio of artists (John Sutton, Ben Beres and Zac Culler) whose work is based in sculpture and performance. Sutton/Beres/Culler creates provocative works in a variety of equally provocative settings.

An awards ceremony honoring the final recipients, as well as the 2011 recipients of Artist Trust’s Fellowships, Grants for Artist Projects, Twining Humber Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement and the Conductive Garboil Grant will take place at Fred Wildlife Refuge in Seattle on November 11, 2011.

The Arts Innovator Award is made possible through a gift from The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, created in August 2009 to inspire and educate the public regarding all forms of art, and to provide support to artists and arts organizations.

About Artist Trust
Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Since its founding in 1986, Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in individual artists through grant programs, and provides a comprehensive suite of professional development training and resources to help artists achieve their career goals. Learn more at