Administered by the Seattle Art Museum, the annual Betty Bowen Award honors a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work. The winner is awarded an unrestricted cash prize of $15,000, and a selection of his or her works is shown at the Seattle Art Museum in the spring of 2021. In addition, up to two Special Recognition Awards in the amount of $2,500 are often granted at the discretion of the Betty Bowen Committee.
Betty Bowen (1918–1977) was a Washington native and enthusiastic supporter of Northwest artists. Her friends established the annual Betty Bowen Award as a celebration of her life and to honor and continue her efforts to provide financial support to the artists of the region. Since 1977, the Seattle Art Museum has hosted the yearly grant application process by which the Betty Bowen Committee chooses one visual artist working in the Northwest to receive the unrestricted cash award.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE AWARD?
The award is open to visual artists in all media working in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho. Artists of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
HOW IS THE WINNER SELECTED?
The winner is selected in a two-part jury process. In the first round, the applicants are reviewed anonymously. Five finalists are selected from the pool of applicants. Finalists are then invited to present their work to the committee in person in the second round and will receive an honorarium of $500 for related expenses. After this review process, the committee selects one award winner in addition to any special recognition award winners they wish to honor.
Selection is based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
The compelling nature of the artist’s ideas and contribution to the field
The quality and creativity of the work submitted for review
The artist’s commitment to developing their work
The impact the award will have on the artist and his/her career
HOW DO I APPLY?
The application will be available at callforentry.org. There is a $10 application fee. All entries must be submitted online. Entries sent by standard mail will not be accepted. Artists working in film or video are required to upload six film stills with your online application and send no more than 3 video files via Dropbox or Vimeo links. Artists are encouraged to submit their most recent body of work.