"For me, creating artwork is a lifelong journey of exploration and experimentation – an inner journey, with a great deal of respect for all living things, and a belief that there is a common thread, a spirit, that is an ever-evolving lifeline to all of us residing on this planet."
"It is my intent to impact the viewers with a soulful experience. An emotional not a cerebral entrance into my world – our world. I am painting universals and hope the viewers can be a participant and explore beneath the skin of painting…"
Deborah F. Lawrence
"My job is to enhance the meaning of popular visual images by using them to tell stories and report on historical and current events that I find hilariously ironic. As I mature and evolve as an artist, the narrative changes, but it usually describes a running dialectic between a bleak, cynical worst-case scenario and a florid utopian archetype."
"I felt that this brought my work closer to the art that has been inspiring me for a long time -- Indian miniatures, medieval illustrations and Folk Art. The Authenticity, the directness and spirituality of these works has made a profound impression on me. My intent is to reflect on these sensibilities and to make a place that is both sublime and intimate, otherworldly and earthbound."
Michael Spafford - 1996 Fellowship Recipient
Michael Spafford was selected to receive the inaugural Neddy Artist Fellowship in 1996, and his receipt of the fellowship established a standard of artistic excellence which brings distinction to every current and future nominee for the award. A selected record reflects participation in well over 100 exhibitions since 1958, and includes one-artist exhibitions in every major museum and cultural institution in the Northwest. Spafford's distinctive approach to painting has inspired dozens of contemporary Northwest artists who studied with him during his tenure on the faculty of the University of Washington School of Art, which began in the mid-1960s and continued through 1994, when he retired from teaching.