The Brink Bash, held on May 17 at Hilliard’s Brewery and hosted by the Henry Art Gallery, was a celebration of artists on the “brink,” especially the six finalists of the Brink Award. The event drew a crowd of patrons, supporters and art lovers—as well as beer and grilled cheese enthusiasts. Guests were treated to Hilliard’s finest selection of brews and the food truck “The Cheese Wizards” cooked up tasty creations. The event was set to the beat of a KEXP DJ who treated partygoers with dance and rock selections.
The Brink Award, sponsored by the Henry Contemporaries and donors John and Shari Behnke, seeks to recognize artists “on the brink of outstanding careers in our region.” The 2013 jury reviewed forty-seven phenomenal artists for the selection of the biennial award, established in 2008 by the Behnkes, and the winner will be announced June 7. The finalists for the Brink Bash this year are Raymond Boisjoly (Vancouver, B.C.), Anne Fenton (Seattle, WA), Rob Halverson (Portland, OR), Blair Saxon-Hill (Portland, OR), Sylvain Sailly (Vancouver, B.C.) and Nell Warren (Washougal, WA).
The Brink Bash brought together a group of Seattleites to celebrate these emerging artists and the region’s commitment to the arts. Out to show their support were curator Scott Lawrimore and cutting edge multi-media artists, including Rodrigo Valenzuela, Neal Fryett, Anastasia Hill and Anna Telcs. Telcs, whose show recently ended at the Henry Art Gallery, is the epitome of the Henry’s mission. Her success showcases The Henry Art Gallery’s ability to represent the contemporary growth of our community—in its many veins. The event may have celebrated the finalists in particular, but the Brink Bash also captured the artistic spirit of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest as a whole—earnest, stylish and scrappy. (Grilled cheese sandwiches at a brewery? It’s not your stereotypical art happening.) The Brink Bash is an unaffected toast to our local artists and institutions and the community that supports them. Cheers again.