The Tag Project - Tule Lake, California; Heart Mountain, Wyoming; Minidoka, Idaho; and Rohwer, Arkansas, 2011
String, ink, thread
Made with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers
Traveling Exhibition organized by The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston MA, and generously funded by the Windgate Charitable Foundation
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of tens of thousands of "persons of Japanese ancestry," the majority of whom were American citizens. Wendy Maruyama, a third generation Japanese-American and highly regarded artist/furniture maker based in San Diego, has created a compelling body of work examining this period in American history.
The Tag Project consists of 120,000 replicas of the paper identification tags that internees were forced to wear when they were being relocated. Each tag represents one person and the number of tags comprising each of the sculptures reflects the population of a specific internment camp. Hastily built and yet active until 1946, the ten relocation centers were Amache, Colorado; Gila Rivers, Arizona; Heart Mountain, Wyoming, Jerome, Arkansas, Manzanar, California; Minidoka, Idaho; Poston, Arizona; Rowher, Arkansas, Topaz, Utah, and Tule Lake, California. Featured in the Forum are four sculptures from The Tag Project. They evoke a powerful sense of the humiliation endured by the internees and the sheer numbers of those displaced.
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.
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.
Mistakes Will Be Made, 2014
Courtesy of the Artist and Museum of Glass, Tacoma WA
Mistakes Will Be Made is an installation of Blue-footed Boobies. Simplified down to leave only the features necessary to read as birds with blue feet, these ungainly seabirds still retain a degree of personality. By using objects that are easily identifiable, the viewer can engage with the work and form their own conclusions. With their necks craning in all directions, seemingly oblivious to all else, they look as if they could easily topple over on to one another. Are these hapless birds looking for something specific? Are they on the lookout for some unseen danger, or in search of some hope or salvation? Possibly they are just in their own individual bird worlds content with their own simplicity. Either way by the looks of it, mistakes will be made.
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.
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.