Arts Innovator Award

Two cutting-edge Washington artists, Leo Berk and Margie Livingston, were recently recognized with the prestigious Arts Innovator Award.

The accolade, bestowed by Artist Trust, was established in 2010; it is an unrestricted $25,000 endowment given annually to two Washington State generative artists who are originating new work, experimenting with novel ideas, taking risks, and pushing the boundaries in their respective fields. Both Berk and Livingston were honored because they demonstrated innovation in their art practices.

The funding for the first three years of the award is provided by The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation.

“This is a very generous investment from The Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, making this the largest grant available in Washington State to individual artists. It will have a profound and life-changing impact on those selected. We are honored to partner with the Foundation to administer these awards,” said Fidelma McGinn, Executive Director at Artist Trust.

Leo Berk creates designs relating to real and depicted or imagined space using diverse materials in contemporary industrial processes, including computer modeled and fabricated artworks. Berk has used this technology extensively including exploring Naj Tunich, an ancient cave in Guatemala, and the Quecreek Mine in Pennsylvania. Through his innovative use of technology, Berk is able to produce works of art portraying the negative space of these caves. Berk has spent six years learning to use this technology, effectively making it an extension of his own hand and expanding his vocabulary. He is represented by Lawrimore Project. To view his compositions, visit leosaulberk.com.

Margie Livingston, an accomplished painter, explores the physicality of paint. Using it as a sculptural medium, she fashions pieces that straddle two disciplines. Using acrylics, Livingston pours and layers pigment to create her own unique three-dimensional material which she uses to form sculptural creations, revealing an intimate relationship with her medium. Livingston is represented by Greg Kucera Gallery. Her artistic mission reveals an inspired spontaneity that also has purpose. “As I work, my goal is to keep the process open so that accident and discovery can combine with invention to make works that surprise me, in hopes of making work that is not merely personal but also cognizant of history and relevant to our time.” To see her designs, go to margie.net.

Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization; its sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Learn more at artisttrust.org.