Day Light, 2013
Wood, glass, concrete steel, metal leaf
Courtesy of the artist and Winston Wachter Fine Art Gallery, Seattle
Seattle-based sculptor Ann Gardner explores light, line, and volume through her works, known for their luminous color washes and complex shapes. She notes, "I try to keep the human dynamic alive in my work by applying a shimmering, hand-cut 'skin' of glass... as the light changes, so does the work—mysteriously throwing color, shadow, and volume into play." Gardner has exhibited extensively, receiving many professional awards including an artist residency at the Pilchuck School of Glass. Her work can be found in public and private collections nationally, including Seattle Art Museum, Washington; Corning Museum of Glass, New York; National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; and Microsoft Corporation, Washington.
Architectural and sculptural forms in combination with subtle pattern and variations in hue characterize Gardner’s glass mosaic pieces, which possess a timeless, ephemeral quality. In her most recent works, she continues to challenge the limits of her medium, creating freestanding outdoor sculptures, ephemeral pieces suspended in air, and grand-scale installations of increasing complexity.
Day Light was commissioned from Gardner by Bellevue Arts Museum as one of a series of chandeliers by local and national artists to be featured in the grand space of the Forum.
Courtesy of Karen LaMonte and Austin Art Projects
Originally from New York, Karen LaMonte has spent more than a decade in the Czech Republic, challenging the limits of cast glass to produce life-size dresses—emptied of their inhabitants. Since her 1990 graduation from the Rhode Island School of Design, LaMonte has explored the motif of clothing as a metaphor for identity and human presence.
After focusing for a decade on dress styles characteristic of Western society, in 2006, LaMonte turned her attention to the clothing of Japan and its most iconic embodiment, the kimono. A seven month residency in Kyoto allowed her to research all aspects of the garment's production, form, function, and social significance, after which she produced a series of kimono sculptures cast in glass, bronze, and ceramic. "How the kimono is worn parallels the relationship between Japanese individuals and their society," she explains. "Putting on a kimono is literally about erasing the individual’s identity and joining the group." Karen LaMonte has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship, which made possible her residency in Japan. Her works can be found in museum collections worldwide.
Chairs V, 2011
Machine-cut paper, folded and glued
Courtesy of the artist
Sarazen Haile's folding chairs take us by surprise with their Lilliputian scale. Placed around the Bellevue Arts Museum galleries, tucked in corners and on ledges that are often overlooked and traditionally unused, Haile's chairs elicit wonderment and bring the viewer to places of the past and of the heart.
The artist writes, "I see 'place' as an all-encompassing term combining physical location, memory, people, interactions, and objects from an area to create a complex reality. In making my work, I look at the factors that make up this definition of place. Inspired by these observations, I attempt to make tangible the intangible – the moment, memory and loss. These are areas of life that are often overlooked, yet have the ability to completely alter our perspectives, to change our lives." Made primarily from paper, her work is fragile and fleeting, yet labored and significant.
As you explore the museum, look around for Sarazen Haile's installations in unexpected and unassuming places.
In My Neck of the Woods, 2014
Courtesy of the artist and Winston Wachter Gallery, Seattle
After graduating from Alfred University in 1994 with a BFA degree in glass sculpture, Erich Woll moved to Seattle in 1995 to pursue his career as an artist. In 1997, Dale Chihuly's glassblowing team offered Woll a position at Chihuly's residence in Seattle, known as 'the boathouse.' During his six-year tenure with Chihuly, Woll traveled around the US and the world and gained valuable skills and knowledge of glass sculpture, both technical and artistic. Woll combines humor, sentimentality, and word-play into his captivating glass pieces.
One of Woll's most recent works, In My Neck of the Woods, continues his explorations into the meaning behind language. As Woll states, the work is "an exploration of how an individual explains the ideological, cultural, or physical idiosyncrasies that identify where they are from… Vague as this aphorism is, it is used specifically to clarify the ethos of the individual. [Yet] because the explanation is so broad and unique to the person’s experiences, what it pertains to can be difficult for others to ascertain."
Cardboard, staples, shellac on steel base
Courtesy of Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco
Ann Weber's artistic journey began with ceramics. After 15 years making functional pottery, she left New York City for California to study with Viola Frey at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. It was Viola's totemic clay figures that inspired the scale of her work. Weber started working in cardboard in 1991 because she wanted to eliminate "the cumbersome process of clay and make monumental forms that were light weight". Frank Gehry's cardboard furniture was her initial inspiration. Of her work the artist said "My abstract sculptures read as metaphors for life experiences such as the balancing acts that define our lives. How far can I build this before it collapses? is a question on my mind as I work. Ultimately my interest is in expanding the possibilities of making beauty from a common and mundane material." Working with a palette of simple forms: cylinders and circles, the sculptures are symbolic of male and female forms and the natural world.
Fragments #9, 2005
Pacific madrone, bleached, sandblasted
Courtesy of the artist
"Fragments #9 exploits the multiples concept with intriguing results. Assembling thin slices of warped madrone timber into a grid like composition, Burchard creates works of variety and visual character. The language of the wood, including knots, color grain, texture, warped surface and contour, along with the relationship of individual pieces to each other and to the whole, offer a provocative visual experience." -- Mark Richard Leach
Traces of the Molten State, 2008
25.6 x 51 feet each
Courtesy of the artist
The Seattle-based artist is known for her "glass pyrographs," ethereal drawings made by literally painting with the fire and smoke emitted from hot molten glass. Her pyrographs are just one way in which Ichikawa captures fleeting moments – both in the physical and emotional world. The light and airy Museum Forum features three large-scale pyrography scrolls made specifically for BAM as part of her first museum solo exhibition.
Photo: Richard Nicol
Peter Pierobon is a sculptor inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the art of the Inuit, African, Northwest Coast Indians and the Aboriginal Australian cultures. His goal is to create objects that are delightfully functional and at the same time sculptural in focus. The chair literally mimics the human form as it offers support to the human body. The chair also departs from this function through exaggeration (four legs) as it engages it metaphorically.
Sandstone and bronze
84 x 16 x 16 inches
Miach was inspired by Speidel's visit to the Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire, England. The Avebury Circle is the largest stone circle in Britain, dating back to 2,500 BC and cloaked with mysteries that archaeologists have only begun to unravel.
The length of time for the main continuity of use of the Avebury complex throughout the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age was, according to present dating studies, around 2,300 years. This lengthy span of time and the vast size of the whole complex give testimony to the fact that the Avebury temple was perhaps the most significant sacred site in all of Britain, if not the entire continent of Europe. Miach, made of sandstone and bronze, represents the power and life inherent in the stones of Avebury.