Deed of Gift, 2013–15

Joey Veltkamp gives an artist talk at SAM. Photo by Philip Nadasdy.

Seattle, WA—April 21, 2015

Deed of Gift, 2013–15

Deed of Gift is an art project by Matthew Offenbacher and Jennifer Nemhauser that takes the form of a collection of artworks given to the Seattle Art Museum for their permanent collection. The artworks were purchased using proceeds from the Neddy at Cornish Award in Painting, which Offenbacher received in 2013. Working closely with Catharina Manchanda, SAM’s Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Offenbacher and Nemhauser tailored their acquisitions to needs of the museum, with a particular emphasis on feminist and queer themes.

The project encompasses seven exceptional works by artists living in the greater Seattle area. The artists are: Daft Kuntz (Dawn Cerny and Victoria Haven), Anne Focke, Klara Glosova, Wynne Greenwood, Ann Leda Shapiro and Joey Veltkamp. Nemhauser comments, “We believe that a healthy arts ecosystem is an essential part of our city. This project transferred resources directly to artists, while supporting the symbiotic relationship of SAM with the larger Northwest visual arts community.”

Offenbacher has long been interested in the role of shame and pride in art production. In 2014, Offenbacher and Nemhauser lived and worked for several months in an artists’ cooperative in Rotterdam. Offenbacher comments, “One thing we noticed was that the European artists we met seemed less anxious about justifying their contribution to society. Like good bike paths, art was presumed to be part of daily life, useful and of interest to everyone. This is something we dearly wish for artists in Seattle.”

The complete list of acquisitions:

The Neddy at Cornish Award is a $25,000 unrestricted award supported by the Behnke Foundation and housed at Cornish College of the Arts in memory of Robert E. (“Ned”) Behnke. It is awarded annually to two artists from the Puget Sound region. The 2013 recipients were Matthew Offenbacher and Victoria Haven.

The Seattle Art Museum has been a center for visual arts in the Pacific Northwest since 1933. SAM’s core values center around art and its critical significance to the human condition, the importance of public service, and the powerful role SAM can play as an effective convener of civic space.

Matthew Offenbacher is a painter who takes constructive, positive positions at often difficult intersections of individuals, communities and institutions. His work has been called “freakishly egoless”, vulnerable, funny and queer. Jennifer Nemhauser is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Washington. Although partnered for 25 years, this is their first formal collaboration.

This work was funded by the 2013 Neddy Award at Cornish and was made possible with additional support from The New Foundation Seattle Residency Program Fund and the Coast Time Residency.

about the related exhibition at SAM’s site