Announcing Restructuring

April 2016 >> The New Foundation Seattle will begin a restructuring in late May 2016. 

Founder Shari D. Behnke is simplifying the Foundation due to an illness in her family. Behnke says, “I have chosen to put my family first right now.”

The Foundation’s exhibition space in Pioneer Square will close and the current exhibition will conclude on Saturday, May 14. Employee positions have been eliminated, and new board members, Josef Vascovitz and Tomoko Moriguchi-Matsuno, have been added to facilitate the restructuring.

Behnke will continue her efforts on The 100K Prize, a biennial unrestricted cash award, which will next be presented to a woman artist in late 2017. This year, with Martha Rosler as the inaugural winner of The 100K Prize, the Foundation has organized year-long programming throughout Seattle including exhibitions of Rosler’s work and related events. The project offers Seattle residents and visitors an opportunity to experience a comprehensive presentation of Rosler’s work and ideas throughout the city and throughout the year. All partner programs will continue as scheduled. 

Mark Mitchell in Residence

March 2015 >> Mark Mitchell is a Seattle-based artist who addresses ceremony and tribute through textiles. Over the next 5 months, Mark will use our facility to conduct research and begin production on Burial II, a new body of work that tackles issues of racial disparity, the school-to-prison pipeline, and solitary confinement.

The Foundation encourages artistic production by responding to the specific needs of the artists we support. In addition to providing studio space for Mark, we are commissioning creative responses to Burial II from Lori Goldston and Aaron Counts, producing public workshops, and collaborating with the Northwest Film Forum, Seattle Art Museum* and Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute* to help him reach the widest possible audience.



April 2
Welcome Party for Mark Mitchell with DJ El Toro
5-8 pm at The New Foundation Seattle
Admission: Free
Dance, snack, mingle and leave good energy in the space for Mark to enjoy during his residency!

May 9 
Making from Whole Cloth with Mark Mitchell
2-4 pm at The New Foundation Seattle
Admission: Free
Informal sewing circle. Guests are welcome to bring their own projects and/or try out traditional accessory, fastener, and embellishment construction techniques.

June 4 
Lori Goldston performs with Greg Campbell, Stuart Dempster, Eyvind Kang, and Jessika Kenney
7:30-9 pm at The New Foundation Seattle
Admission: Free
Celebrated cellist Lori Goldston will compose a suite of short pieces dealing with the idea of freedom of movement in response to Burial II. This newly commissioned work will be recorded and performed live with special guests.

June 22
Screening and Discussion
7:30 pm at the Northwest Film Forum
Admission: $6 NWFF members / $8 students & seniors / $11 general
Join Mark Mitchell and guest speakers for a screening and discussion in connection with Mark’s residency at the Foundation. This film screening and conversation will explore the power of art to transform our understanding of the lived experiences of institutionalized racism. The post-screening discussion will address issues of mass incarceration of black men and the prison industrial complex. Event details forthcoming at

July 23 
Aaron Counts Reading
7-9 pm at The New Foundation Seattle
Admission: Free
Aaron Counts is a teaching artist who has written and read with professors, prisoners, dropouts and scholars. Aaron will read two new pieces of writing commissioned by the Foundation in response to Burial II.

*Details on program partnerships with SAM and LHPAI will be announced in the coming months.

Wynne Greenwood at the New Museum

March 2015 >> Wynne Greenwood will hold her first one-person museum exhibition this fall at the New Museum, New York, in the highly dynamic and experimental context of the New Museum’s education and research programs overseen by curator and scholar Johanna Burton. The exhibition incorporates elements of Greenwood’s immersive residency and one-person exhibition at Reed College’s Cooley Gallery in the summer and fall of 2014. Cooley curator Stephanie Snyder states: “It is deeply meaningful for us at the Cooley to collaborate with Johanna Burton and the New Museum, buoyed by the generosity of the New Foundation, as we collectively support the evolution of Wynne’s visionary work.”

The New Museum exhibition will allow Greenwood to continue to evolve her archival work with Tracy and the Plastics while expanding the poetics of her sculpture, video, and performance work. Part of Burton’s 2015 Research and Development Season examining the thematic of “Persona,” Greenwood’s six-month residency project will include extensive public programs and performances by a host of invited artists and musicians. As part of the research season, Snyder will participate with Greenwood and Burton in New York, both on the exhibition and related programs, including participating in the Museum’s afterschool program for teens. Greenwood’s residency will extend from July—December, 2015. Her exhibition will be on view from September 16, 2015—January 10, 2016.

Burton states: “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with both Wynne and Stephanie on this historic project,” said Burton. “Wynne’s work, as Tracy, and beyond, has generously challenged and expanded the ways in which queer feminism impacts culture. Her work has always been ahead of its time, which is why looking back at it now will be so valuable.”

Greenwood’s New Museum exhibition is organized jointly by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, New Museum, New York; and Stephanie Snyder, Anne and John Hauberg Curator and Director, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, Oregon.

A comprehensive book will accompany the exhibition, a co-publication of the Cooley Gallery and the New Museum. The book contains immersive imagery, ephemera, and performance transcriptions chronicling Greenwood’s performance work as Tracy + the Plastics, and exploring her subsequent sculpture and video work. The publication bridges and expands the connection between Greenwood’s 2014 exhibition at the Cooley and her forthcoming project at the New Museum. The book includes writing by curators Stephanie Snyder and Johanna Burton, Wynne Greenwood, Emily Roysdon and author Sara Jaffe. The book is designed by Heather Watkins in Portland, Oregon, and is made possible through the generous support of The New Foundation, Seattle. Greenwood is represented by Fourteen30 Contemporary in Portland, Oregon.


December 2014 >> Over the next three months, the Foundation will bring HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? collective members to the Northwest to join Seattle-based founding member Christa Bell and create new work, screen recent work, participate in exhibitions and lectures, and host a radical dance-in.

The Foundation is proud to present this citywide program with partners identified in collaboration with HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? including: Town Hall, The Jacob Lawrence Gallery at UW, On the Boards, The University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design, and Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

View program schedule HERE.

HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN? is an international collective laboratory that utilizes music, film, sculptural installation, and contemporary dance and theatre to experiment with linear narratives in order to find alternate possibilities via abstraction.

Program Updates

May 2014  >> Our Acquisition Program is now called The Artist Program and has expanded to include exhibition and publication support.

The Foundation is proud to welcome Wynne Greenwood, Mark Mitchell, and Leo Saul Berk to the Artist Program. The Foundation is kicking off this expanded initiative by providing partial funding for Leo’s exhibition, The Uncertainty of Enclosure: Leo Saul Berk, opening June 7, 2014 at INOVA in Milwaukee, WI.

Still from "Carousel"
Leo Saul Berk. Still from Carousel. 

Congratulations, spring 2014 New Fellows!

Jayme Yen’s fellowship supports her work as a curator and designer at the 2014 International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno, the Czech Republic (June 19 – October 26, 2014). Jayme and designer Layla Tweedie-Cullen (NZ), have led the development of a collaborative project titled distracted-workshop #1: may changedistracted-workshop is part of the Biennial’s OFF Program. Addressing the 2014 Biennial’s theme of art and design education, distracted-workshop explores a hypothetical education model based on informal methods of learning. During the four months of the Biennial, distracted-workshop takes the form of an interactive exhibition by translating the methods and practices of multi-disciplinary artists and designers into ‘actions’ that invite viewer participation.

Thuy-Van Vu plans to use her fellowship to travel to local and national history museums, including the Viet Museum in San Jose, the National Museum of American History, and the Freer and Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian Institute. These trips will allow her to expand her research on Vietnamese artifacts in museum collections and examine visual narratives currently on display in U.S. institutions relating to Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American culture, art, and history. Photographs taken of installations and objects on display will serve as source materials for future paintings.

The First Fellow

December 2013 >> Big news…Announcing our inaugural New Fellow — Whitney Ford-Terry! Learn more about Whitney and the details of her fellowship.


Other recent highlights and happenings >>

The Education Program
The Foundation renewed funding for the University of Washington School of Art’s Nebula Project. We look forward to their forthcoming visiting artist lecture series and expanded contemporary art curriculum. The lecture series will be free and open to the public, so keep an eye out for their announcement.

The Acquisition Program
Whiting Tennis’s Wolf has been added to Orange County Museum of Art’s collection, and Jeffry Mitchell’s Not Waving, but Drowning has been added to the Frye Art Museum’s collection.

Report: Seattle

March 2013 >> The Foundation is the subject of a feature article written for Art Ltd. magazine by Suzanne Beal.

Art Ltd., March/April 2013
Art Ltd., March/April 2013