News / Press Releases

Artist Trust’s Arts Innovator Awards Grant Four Washington Artists $55,000

For Immediate Release:

Artist Trust, a Washington state nonprofit arts organization, is pleased to announce the two recipients of the 2011 Arts Innovator Awards and the two recipients of the 2011 Arts Innovator Special Recognition Awards.

The second-annual Arts Innovator Awards are supported by The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, to recognize Washington state artists working in any discipline who demonstrate innovation in their art practice. Forms of innovation include originating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks and pushing the boundaries in artists’ respective fields.

“The 13 panelists who adjudicated the review process (who were both from and outside Washington State) were all very impressed with the caliber of entries this year. In genres from choreography to music to visual arts, this year’s four recipients are great examples of being true innovators. Each has made a major impact on the regional arts community, while also being recognized nationally and internationally.” —Fidelma McGinn, Executive Director, Artist Trust

The Arts Innovator Award is an unrestricted cash award of $25,000, the largest monetary award available to a generative artist residing in Washington State. The Arts Innovator Special Recognition Awards are unrestricted awards of $2,500.

2011 Arts Innovator Award Recipients:

Pat Graney is a choreographer who has taken her work into diverse communities, creating new and enduring connections to art. Pat’s work bridges disciplines, blending choreography with theater, literary arts, music and visual arts, and communities, working with artists and non-artists, expanding understanding, appreciation and the language of art. Pat Graney is based in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Eyvind Kang is a composer, arranger, performer and multi-instrumentalist whose work spans and masters a variety of genres. Kang’s work has been described as a classical approach to jazz with punk, ambient and folk influences. Kang has the unique ability to make instruments sound simultaneously tentative, tender and absolutely massive. His approach to music is infused with philosophies on poetry, music and theatre. Eyvind Kang has toured North America and received national recognition for his music. He lives on Vashon Island.

2011 Arts Innovator Special Recognition Award Recipients:

Gary Hill works with a broad range of visual media – including language, sculpture, sound, video, installation and performance. Hill creates immersive, evocative and confrontational works that are ground-breaking and stretch the understanding of medium. He is an influential artist who continues to take risks and redefine what is possible with art. Gary Hill is based in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

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 and using a broad set of media and technologies. SBC’s work is successful in bringing work out of the gallery and into the community for interaction, allowing new readings to political, social, cultural and aesthetic issues. SBC has received extensive acclaim and recognition, appearing at Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival and receiving support from the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. SBC is based in Seattle.

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

Four panels, representing literary, media, performing and visual arts and consisting of three expert jurors each, and one multidisciplinary panel consisting of five jurors, selected award finalists and recipients from 133 applicants.

2011 Arts Innovator Award Panelists:

Literary Arts
  Teri Hein, King County
  Alice Derry, Clallam County
  Jim Lynch, Thurston County

Media Arts
  Lyall Bush, King County
  Vincent De Felice, Spokane County
  Amy Lillard, King County

Performing Arts
  Charlie Rathbun, King County
  Tom Baker, King County
  Sarah Wilke, King County

Visual Art
  Eric Fredericksen, King County
  Tina Kuckkahn, Thurston County
  Tom O’Day, Spokane County

Guest Panelist: Josephine Ramirez, Irvine Foundation, Los Angeles


A moderated discussion on the wellspring of innovation in art throughout Washington State is scheduled for November 8, 2011, 7pm, at On The Boards, Seattle, and will include the award recipients.

In 2011, Artist Trust awarded a grand total of $284,000 to artists through its five grant programs. An awards ceremony honoring all the 2011 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 Fred Wildlife Refuge in Seattle on November 11, 2011.


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