Neddy Artists, Not Needy
Last Tuesday night, artists, curators, art critics, and fans gathered at the Bank of America Gallery to honor the winners of this year's Neddy Artist Fellowships, given in honor of Ned Behnke by his family. Billy Howard, owner of Howard House, looked like a proud papa, with three of his artists in the running. Although the gallery was crowded and hot and smelled like brie, everyone joined in appreciative applause for recipients Chris Bruch (winner in sculpture), and Mark Takamichi Miller (in painting).
Of Miller, gallery director Peggy Weiss said, "This is a huge moment for him. He's right in the middle of making a directional change, taking a new stylistic approach." Awards like the Neddy are perfect for encouraging development in artists who have already proved their exceptional talents, as well as for artists who have toiled more or less in obscurity--such as Bruch, who does not have gallery representation in Seattle--and are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Congratulations to Bruch and Miller, who each received $10,000, and to the other nominees: Robert Yoder, Ken Kelly, and Dennis Evans (in painting); and Pam Gazale and Doug Jeck (in sculpture). And thank you, Behnkes. EMILY HALL
In Arts News is still reeling from the sloppy, unfunny, endlessly self-congratulatory and content-free "performance" given last week by Sandra Bernhard. Entitled The Love Machine, the newest "show" by the formerly divine Ms. Sandra featured our lady standing on the enormous Paramount stage exhibiting pictures torn out of magazines and offering uninspired renditions of Bernhard originals and former pop hits. (The grand exception: a faux impassioned tribute to actress Angie Harmon.) After receiving a surprise ass-licking by a birthday-cake-wielding Lea DeLaria ("Who's got an album coming out June 13!!!" squealed Sandra in lieu of payment), Bernhard hit bottom with the "unplanned" appearance of her toddler daughter. (Confidential to Sandra: The spiritual ramblings of a postmodern, bisexual Kabbalahist are exactly as entertaining as those of a straight-laced, born-again Christian. You can't satirize the contents of your own navel. There's a big bad world out there we need you to skewer. Please get to work.) DIRK LaCROIX
What Fills Diller
On a stroll downtown a few nights ago, In Arts News was surprised to look up and see the Cheshire cat-grinning face of artist Jesse Paul Miller on the side of the Diller Building at First and University, along with images of five other unknown people. A little digging around revealed that this is the project of artists Monica Lidman and John Kieltyka, who window-by-window are adorning the building with pictures of past and present tenants (including Arlo the Birthday Cat, and Mendel, the architect who designed the building). The Diller Building, home to quite a few artists and other low-income types, is "an eyesore," Lidman told us, "not long for this world"--having tenuously resisted the insatiable appetite of the Harbor Steps renovation of the neighborhood. Built after the Great Fire with bricks imported from Japan, it started as a "glorious old hotel," Lidman said. "I'm interested in showing the contents of this container." The photographs are currently appearing at the rate of about two per week, but Lidman expects that the pace will pick up soon, offering an antidote to the surrounding big-money art: the Seattle Art Museum on one side, and a couple of parading pigs on the other. EMILY HALL
No More Succor
In Arts News would like to observe a moment of silence for the popular and literate websites FEED magazine and Suck.com, two of the oldest continuing online publications, both of which went into "suspended animation" (see Clark Humphrey's Obits, pg 13) due to lack of funds on Monday. TRACI VOGEL