News / Press Releases

Artist Trust’s 2013 Arts Innovator Awards Grants Two Washington State Artists $50,000

For Immediate Release:

Artist Trust, a Washington state nonprofit arts organization, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 Arts Innovator Awards: John Grade and David Shields. These unrestricted cash awards of $25,000 are one of the largest monetary awards available to a generative artist of any discipline statewide.

The Arts Innovator Award recognizes Washington State artists working in any artistic discipline who demonstrate innovation in their art practice—originating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks and pushing the boundaries in their respective fields. The awards are supported generously by The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation.

We are thrilled to offer, for a fourth consecutive year, the Arts Innovator Award to Washington State artists. This award’s rigorous panel review process brings to the forefront artists whose creative vision and accomplishment consistently moves their work to new artistic frontiers. We are proud to recognize these artists and their impact on the arts and our community through this award. Congratulations to this year’s recipients! —Margit Rankin, Executive Director, Artist Trust

2013 Arts Innovator Award Recipients:

John Grade creates large-scale sculptures that are exhibited internationally in museums, galleries and outdoors in nature. His projects are designed to change over time and often involve large groups of people to collaboratively build and install. His 65-foot sculpture Wawona is permanently installed at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle where it breaks through the floor and ceiling of the building, bridging a view from the water below the building to the sky above. John is the recipient of the 2010 Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (NY), a Tiffany Foundation Award (NY), an Andy Warhol Foundation Award (NY), two Pollock Krasner Foundation Grants (NY), and the 2011 Arlene Schnitzer Prize from the Portland Art Museum.

David Shields is the author of 15 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead and Salinger (co-written by Shane Salerno); Reality Hunger, named one of the best books of the year by more than 30 publications; Black Planet, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Remote, winner of the PEN/Revson Award; and Dead Languages, winner of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. A Guggenheim fellow and two-time NEA recipient, he is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington. His work has been translated into 20 languages.

Congratulations to these worthy recipients for receiving these awards and for their steadfast perseverance in forging innovative paths in their art practice.

Four panels representing literary, media, performing and visual arts, and one multidisciplinary panel (composed of representatives of the discipline-specific panels), selected award finalists and recipients from 113 applicants. 

Literary Arts Panelists:
Frances McCue
Tree Swenson
Jake Uitti

Media Arts Panelists:
Michilu Gargiulo
Robin Held
Robert Sickels

Performing Arts Panelists:
Minh Tran
Greg Carter
Richard Karpen

Visual Arts Panelists:
Peggy Weiss
Nicholas Nyland
Richard Martinez

Guest Panelist:
Kate Wagle

An Awards Party honoring all the 2013 recipients of the Arts Innovator Awards, Twining Humber Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Fellowships, Grants for Artist Projects, and the Conductive Garboil Grant will take place at Experience Music Project in Seattle on November 8, 2013.

Artist Trust is proud of its partnership with The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation in the establishment of the Arts Innovator Awards, a clear manifestation of both of the organizations’ missions.

The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation’s mission is 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