Seattle-based artist and 2015 Betty Bowen award winner, Jack Daws cross-examines the blind spots of salient moments in American history, from the legacy of Chief Seattle, to current local public works projects, to recent national social and political events. Frequently, his appropriated objects seem innocuous and everyday but on close inspection reveal a more troubling undercurrent that asks us to re-consider established truths and values.
Through visually familiar and seemingly commonplace objects, he slyly confronts his audience with often uncomfortable questions about our shared history and encourages us to reexamine our world.
The namesake of this distinguished award, Betty Bowen (1918–1977), was a Washington native and enthusiastic supporter of Northwest artists whose friends established the annual 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 selection committee chooses one Northwest visual artist from Washington, Oregon, or Idaho, to receive an unrestricted cash award.
Image: Beat the Drum, 2015, Jack Daws, American, b. 1970, deer hide, maple, acrylic, 18 x 18 x 3 in., Courtesy of the artist and Greg Kucera Gallery, © Jack Daws.