There is still a young genius among us who has been overlooked!
Sarah Bergmann Named 2012 Betty Bowen Award Winner
The Betty Bowen Committee announced that Sarah Bergmann is the winner of the 2012 Betty Bowen Award. The award comes with an unrestricted cash prize of $15,000.
Five finalists, including Mike Bray (Oregon); Claudia Fitch (Washington); Akihiko Miyoshi (Oregon)
and Michelle Ross (Oregon)—chosen from a pool of 294 applicants from Washington, Oregon and
Idaho—competed for the $15,000 award.
Bergmann will receive her award and discuss her work on Thursday, October 25 at 5:30 pm in the
Nordstrom Lecture Hall at SAM Downtown. A reception in SAM’s Simons Board Room will
immediately follow. Both the award ceremony and reception are free and open to the public.
Sarah Bergmann, a Seattle-based artist and ecological designer, received her BFA from Cornish
College of the Arts in 1999. Trained as a painter, Bergmann shifted her artistic practice, seven
years ago, from traditional landscape paintings made in her studio to ecologically-charged public
installations, following her determination to “respond to [today’s] profound planetary changes.” Her
most recent public project, The Pollinator Pathway, has transformed a mile-long segment of
parking strips in Seattle’s Central District along Columbia Street into blooming habitats planted
with native plants that encourage native pollinators to the region (such as bees, beetles, birds,
butterflies, and even ants). Part renegade park and part educational platform, the Pollinator
Pathway bridges science, art, systems-thinking, urban planning and landscape design.
Bergmann’s project was spotlighted with a temporary exhibition, Portal to
the Pollinator Pathway, outside the PACCAR Pavilion within the SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park June 27–September 16, 2012.
Her work has been part of recent group exhibitions including All Things Equal, Hedreen Gallery,
Seattle, WA (2001); A Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck, Punch Gallery, Seattle, WA (2007); and
Bashville, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (2005). She has been the recipient of the grants
including The Northwest Horticulture Society Grant (2011); Neighborhood Matching Grant, City of
Seattle (2010); Neighborhood Matching Grant, City of Seattle (2008); and a GAP Grant Recipient,
Artist Trust, Seattle, WA (2004). In addition she has been nominated for the 2012 The Stranger
See a list of past Betty Bowen Award winners.
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 artists of the region. Since 1977, SAM has hosted the yearly grant application process by which the selection committee chooses one artist living and working in the Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) to receive an unrestricted cash award.
2012 Betty Bowen Committee Members
Gary Glant (Chair)
Anne Gould Hauberg
Catharina Manchanda (SAM’s Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art)
Rotating artists are past recipients of the award who are rotated onto the committee for several year periods.
Application and selection process