Meet the 2023 Betty Bowen Award Winner: Tariqa Waters

The Seattle Art Museum and the Betty Bowen Committee are proud to announce Seattle artist Tariqa Waters as the winner of the 2023 Betty Bowen Award! The juried award comes with an unrestricted cash award of $15,000 and a solo exhibition at SAM. This year’s committee included Gary Glant (Chair), Mike Hess, Mark Levine, Sangram Majumdar, Catharina Manchanda, Llewelyn Pritchard, Greg Robinson, Norie Sato, Anthony White, and Merrill Wright.

Tariqa Waters’s innovative practice encompasses mixed-media tableaus, paintings, photographs, film, and immersive installations that push the aesthetics of commercial advertising into surreal, otherworldly territory. It is at the juncture with product advertising that Waters interrogates the importance of styling and beauty, especially its significance for Black women. Her work will be featured at the Seattle Art Museum in a solo exhibition in 2025, with dates to be announced.

Solo exhibitions of Waters’s work have been shown in Seattle at the Hedreen Gallery, the Northwest African American Museum, and the Museum of Museums (MoM). She has been awarded multiple prizes and grants, including the Conductive Garboil Grant, the Artist Trust Fellowship Award, the Neddy Artist Award, and the Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award. Waters is a two-time finalist for the Betty Bowen Award, winning the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award in 2020 and the Gary Glant Special Recognition Award in 2021. She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People in 2023 by Seattle Magazine.

Samantha Wall won the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award and Mary Ann Peters won the Gary Glant Special Recognition Award, in the amount of $2,500 each. Finalists Derek Franklin, Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson, and Ido (Lisa) Radon will each receive Special Commendation Awards in the amount of $1,250, awarded annually since 2020. The six finalists were chosen from a pool of 414 applicants from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to compete for the $23,750 in awards.

Founded in 1977 to continue the legacy of local arts advocate and supporter Betty Bowen, the annual award honors a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work. 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, SAM has hosted the yearly grant application process by which the selection committee chooses one artist from the Northwest to receive an unrestricted cash award, eligible to visual artists living and working in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

“This award serves as a testament to the countless hours, sleepless nights, and relentless dedication that I have poured into my craft,” says Waters. “It is a validation of the risks I have taken, the boundaries I have pushed, and the artistic growth I have experienced along the way. As an artist, it is not always easy to navigate the complexities of the creative process, but this recognition affirms that my work has resonated with others and has made a meaningful impact.”

The 2022 winner was Portland artist Elizabeth Malaska. Her solo exhibition, All Be Your Mirror, debuts at the Seattle Art Museum November 17, 2023–June 16, 2024. Learn more about Waters and all of the 2023 Betty Bowen finalists here.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Images: Tariqa Waters by Alex Cayley. Samantha Wall by Stephen Slappe. Mary Ann Peters by Amanda Smart.

Meet the 2023 Betty Bowen Award Finalists

Every year, SAM and the Betty Bowen Committee, chaired by Gary Glant, give the Betty Bowen Award, a juried award that comes with an unrestricted cash award of $15,000 and a solo exhibition at SAM. The award was founded in 1977 to continue the legacy of local arts advocate and supporter Betty Bowen and honors a Northwest artist (from Washington, Oregon, or Idaho) for their original, exceptional, and compelling work. In addition, two Special Recognition Awards in the amount of $2,500 and three Special Commendation Awards in the amount of $1,250 will be awarded by the Betty Bowen Committee.

Recent winners include Elizabeth Malaska (2022; her solo show All Be Your Mirror is on view November 17, 2023–June 16, 2024),  Anthony White (2021), and Dawn Cerny (2020). On view in SAM’s galleries right now are works by past winners Natalie Ball (2018), Jack Daws (2015), and Marie Watt (2005). The connections between SAM and these exceptional artists from our region continue over the years. 

Today, we are announcing the six finalists of the 2023 award who were selected from a pool of 414 applicants. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner on October 23!

Derek Franklin – Portland, Oregon

Derek Franklin is an artist, curator, and artistic director who utilizes painting and sculpture to investigate the ways in which one responds to violence inextricably woven into societal structures. Drawing from constructivist theatre design, Franklin conceptualizes the home as a kind of stage and centers his inquiry on the objects that bear witness to daily domestic rituals, such as eating or drinking. Activated by the audience’s presence, Franklin’s work asks viewers to engage in communal experiences of sadness, awkwardness, and humor.


Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson – Seattle, Washington

Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson’s current project explores the intersections of artistic hierarchy, labor, and skill through the process of creating cotton and linen woven works. These materials evoke the history of painting through both material and the notion of the grid, a key point of investigation for their work. Adapting 1960’s Swedish kitchen towel weaving instructions into new artistic works, Liedgren Alexandersson prods the dual status of textiles as domestic, utilitarian objects, and as demonstrations of skillful aesthetic exploration.


Mary Ann Peters – Seattle, Washington

As a second generation Arab-American, Mary Ann Peters’s work constructs an outline for cultural inquiry that employs history, architecture, science, and heritage to respond to undermined diasporic narratives. Peters filters a personal exploration of these themes through the concept of audience perception and the ethical considerations of artistic discourse. Peters challenges the concept of an image being neutral, instead focusing on visuals that coalesce and redefine contemporary topics.


Ido (Lisa) Radon – Portland, Oregon

Ido Radon’s mixed media and multi-sensorial work is guided by long-term interests in the ideological and material structures and processes that produce reality under the conditions of advanced capitalism. Radon interrogates the use of various technologies to mediate the abstractions of capitalism and counter-histories of revolutionary impulses. The rise of the personal computer and community computing provide a historical and cultural grounding through which Radon incarnates feminist theory and critical discourses in complex aestheticized forms. 


Samantha Wall – Portland, Oregon

Samantha Wall’s recent series, Beyond Bloodlines, pulls from Korean folklore and Euro-centric mythologies to expose the effects of alienation and exile within the diaspora. Delicately layered on Dura-lar, the symbolic form of the serpent woman represents the status of Otherness applied to women who deviate from narrow margins of social acceptance. Wall’s drawings navigate the artist’s identity as a Black Korean immigrant, and remodel pathways for Black American narratives of existence within the US. 


Tariqa Waters – Seattle, Washington

Tariqa Waters is a multimedia artist who invokes traditional pop aesthetics to mediate the co-opting of Black culture, and consumerism. Her immersive installations, video works, large-scale sculptures, and photographs utilize humor, satire, and spectacle to critique and defy expectations, incorporating intentional anachronisms that navigate ideas of femininity, gender, race, and beauty. By recalling memory, myth, and tall-tales, Waters lays bare the contradictions and dualities rooted in Americana aesthetics.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Images: Installation view of Grief is On My Calendar Everyday at 2:00 PM, 2023, Derek Franklin, mixed media, 110 x 216 x 192 in. © Derek Franklin. B-cognition, 2023, Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson, linen, cotton, and wood, 63 x 30 x 240 in. Photo: Musse Barclay, © Lisa Liedgren Alexandersson. impossible monument (the threads that bind), 2023, Mary Ann Peters, silk, silk thread, silk waste, silk pods, glycerin, wood, and water, 84 x 60 x 144 in., © Mary Ann Peters. Sail or Temporary composition of a specter of a world, 2023, Ido Radon,, mixed media, 138 x 47 x 2 in. © Ido Radon. Becoming, 2023, Samantha Wall, conté crayon and ink on Dura-Lar, 80 x 80 in., © Samantha Wall. Pink Ball Barrette, 2022, Tariqa Waters, blown glass, 9 x 9 x 9 in. © Tariqa Waters.

Meet the 2022 Betty Bowen Award Winner: Elizabeth Malaska

The Seattle Art Museum and the Betty Bowen Committee are proud to announce Portland artist Elizabeth Malaska as the winner of the 2022 Betty Bowen Award! The juried award comes with an unrestricted cash award of $15,000 and a solo exhibition at SAM. This year’s committee included chair Gary Glant, Mike Hess, Mark Levine, Catharina Manchanda, Llewelyn Pritchard, Greg Robinson, and Norie Sato.

Malaska’s grand tableaux respond to a history of Western painting and power dynamics that often assigns women the roles of submissive accessories. In search of more potent and less pleasing feminine subjects, her tour de force paintings unpack historical genres, such as the reclining nude, and offer up challenging and introspective visions. Malaska is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, as well as the recipient of fellowships from The Joan Mitchell and Hallie Ford Foundations. Recent group exhibitions include Time Being at Oregon Contemporary and Making a Better Painting: Thinking Through Practice at Lewis and Clark College. Her work is in the collections of The Portland Art Museum, The Hallie Ford Museum, and The Schneider Museum of Art. Her work will be featured at the Seattle Art Museum in a solo exhibition in 2023, with dates to be announced. 

Klara Glosova won the Kayla Skinner Special Recognition Award and Rafael Soldi won the Gary Glant Special Recognition Award, in the amount of $2,500 each. Finalists Sam Hamilton, Tim Hutchings, and Ric’kisha Taylor will each receive Special Commendation Awards in the amount of $1,250, awarded annually since 2020. The six finalists were chosen from a pool of 532 applicants from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to compete for the $23,750 in awards.

“Selecting the Betty Bowen Award winner is always a formidable task, and this year was no exception with an extraordinary pool of applicants,” says Gary Glant. “We are thrilled to see Betty’s legacy live on with this year’s winners, who all represent the incredible artistic talent and vision to be found in the Northwest.”

Founded in 1977 to continue the legacy of local arts advocate and supporter Betty Bowen, the annual award honors a Northwest artist for their original, exceptional, and compelling work. 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, SAM has hosted the yearly grant application process by which the selection committee chooses one artist from the Northwest to receive an unrestricted cash award, eligible to visual artists living and working in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

“I am profoundly honored to have been chosen by the committee as the recipient of this year’s Betty Bowen Award,” says Malaska. “This is an exceptional opportunity, and I am already exhilarated thinking about the paintings I’m going to make. I wholeheartedly believe that art has the capacity to transform our world for the better. It is extraordinary to me that Bowen’s passion and legacy continues to support Northwest artists. Such a sustained reach of vision is deeply inspiring to me and something that I aspire to through my own work.”

The 2021 winner was Seattle artist Anthony White. His solo exhibition, Limited Liability, is currently on view at the Seattle Art Museum through January 29, 2023. Learn more about Malaska and all of the 2022 Betty Bowen finalists here.

– Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Images: Photo of Elizabeth Malaska by Mario Gallucci. Photo of Klara Glosova by Jonathan Nesteruk. Photo of Rafael Soldi by Jess T. Dugan.

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