Featured Objects

  • Graypants Studio
    , 2015

    Ping-pong balls, zip ties, aluminum, wood, florescent light elements
    In conjunction with The New Frontier: Young Designer-Makers in the Pacific Northwest

    Cloud is a lighting installation created for Bellevue Arts Museum in conjunction with the exhibition The New Frontier: Young Designer-Makers in the Pacific Northwest, which features the work of nearly 30 design studios located in the coastal region stretching from Vancouver, BC, to Oregon's southern border.

    Cloud consists of a sculpted metal armature covered by around 40,000 ping-pong balls, each attached to the frame by hand. Illuminated from within, the sculpture hovers over the Museum's main entrance. With its organic form and undulating texture, Cloud inspires wonder and nostalgia, evoking the aimless, imaginative meanderings of childhood, forgotten in our fast-paced world. Viewers are encouraged to stop, gaze upward, and lose themselves in locating and identifying the shifting forms of animals, trains, faces, and shapes.

    Graypants is a team of problem-solvers who create objects that bridge the gap between art and design. With studios in Seattle and Amsterdam, Graypants boasts a broad design repertoire encompassing architecture as well as lighting. The studio's work can be seen in public and private spaces around the world. More examples of Graypants' work can be found in the exhibition, located in BAM's third-floor gallery.


  • Gerri Sayler
    , 2014

    Aluminum mesh, wire, colored gels, shadow
    With support from the Idaho Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts

    Gerri Sayler is a site-specific installation artist who works primarily in fiber-based media. Based in Moscow, ID, she is heavily influenced by the dramatic, undulating landscape of the Palouse Hills. Texture, line, and repetition work their way into her sculpture, which explores cycles of nature, creation, and time.

    Drawing inspiration from the constantly fluctuating light and weather patterns that color the Northwest, Primordia is a cosmic study in light, shadow, and volume—a flowing topography of materiality and swirling energy that speaks to primeval origins. During its 10-day installation, the suspended work grew organically on site. The labor-intensive hand crimping and crunching involved in bringing this work to life symbolize for the artist a metaphysics of perpetual creation and destruction.


  • Sonya Clark
    , 2010

    Cloth and thread

    Three Fifths evokes the memory of African slavery and the infamous Compromise reached between delegates from southern states and those from northern states during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention. The debate was over if, and if so, how, slaves would be counted when determining a state's total population for legislative representation and taxing purposes. Eleven years after the birth of the United States, the issue was not irrelevant, as this population number would then be used to determine the number of seats that each state would have in the House of Representatives and to determine what percentage of the nation's direct tax burden the state would have to bear.

    In the words of the artist: “Three fifths of the back of a man’s shirt is stitched with cotton thread and braided with cornrows to refer to the three fifths compromise that counted people of African descent as only three fifths of a person. The strategy here is to use a quality tailored men’s dress shirt as a signifier of status and gender in conjunction with the cornrows as a signifier of race. Placing the cornrows on the back of the shirt might refer to the “back forty” or the 40 acres and a mule promised to freed African Americans or the lashes received as inhumane punishment. What does the piece mean in the contemporary context, given the history of racism that continues to permeate our culture?” Clark is Chair of the Craft/Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. She is the recipient of many important awards among which the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Award, and most recently the prestigious ArtPrize 2014 in Grand Prize, Grand Rapids, MI with “the Hair Craft Project.”

  • Peter Christian Johnson
    , 2012

    Ceramic and tractor paint
    Courtesy of the artist

    Peter Christian Johnson's work catalogues the act of making, of constructing, of inventing, and reinventing. It speaks to the never ending flow of both time and human attempts at progress.

    This piece involved converting one ton of clay into a scrap pile of industrial grapples. As the artist states, "I am interested in the futility of these forms when created with clay, the questions they raise about the act of constructing, and the way they speak to the passing of time."

  • Erich Woll, In My Neck of the Woods
    Bruce Seeds
    , 2012

    Cotton fabric and thread, cotton/poly batting
    Courtesy of the artist

  • Ann Weber, Almost
    Alan Fulle
    Church Tower
    , 2011

    Cut epoxy materials in epoxy resin
    Courtesy of the artist and Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA

  • Christian Burchard, Fragments #9
    Christian Burchard
    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

  • Etsuko Ichikawa, Traces of the Molten State
    Etsuko Ichikawa
    Traces of the Molten State
    , 2008

    Glass pyrograph
    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.

  • Peter Pierobon, Chair Stack
    Peter Pierobon
    Chair Stack


    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.

  • Julie Speidel, Miach
    Julie Speidel
    , 2004

    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.