In The Stranger, Jen Graves reports: “This spring, Portland Art Museum announced its decision to ditch its traditional Oregon Biennial to pursue a broader, better, more authoritative project: the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, an exhibition of only a few artists instead of the usual jam-packed biennials. And one of those few will win a fat $10,000 prize. I only wish Seattle Art Museum had gotten there first. SAM’s 28-year-old Betty Bowen Award ($11,000) feels oddly irrelevant�not like the museum is sweeping the landscape, picking up a single artist, and throwing its weight behind that person.” Artists, many of whom are painters, on the shortlist: Daniel Attoe, Gretchen Bennett, Joshua Berger, Buddy Bunting, Cat Clifford, Judy Cooke, Claire Cowie, Marc Dombrosky, Ellen Garvens, Jesse Hayward, Mary Henry, Fay Jones, Michael Knutson, James Lavadour, Margie Livingston, D. E. May, Jeffry Mitchell, Seth Nehil, Richard Notkin, Geraldine Ondrizek, Joe Park, Akio Takamori, Whiting Tennis, Storm Tharp, Oscar Tuazon, Laura Vandenburg, Marie Watt, and Robert Yoder. Read more.