Clyde Petersen to present love letter to the touring rock band at Bellevue Arts Museum

October 02, 2018
Images: 'A Fire to Keep You Warm,' Clyde Petersen, 2018; 'The Slayer,' Clyde Petersen, 2018; 'Double D's,' Clyde Petersen, 2018. Photos: Clyde Petersen.

October 2, 2018
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Clyde Petersen: Merch & Destroy is on view at Bellevue Arts Museum November 9, 2018 – April 14, 2019.

Bellevue, WA—Bellevue Arts Museum will present the first solo museum exhibition from Clyde Petersen this fall. Petersen is a Seattle-based artist who spent twenty years on the road as a tour manager for Northwest-based punk and post-punk bands. His upcoming exhibition, Merch & Destroy, which opens November 9, is a heartfelt yet abject love letter to the touring rock band.

Works in the exhibition take the formative experiences of tour life—band arrives at venue, sets up, completes sound check, waits in the green room, breaks down and packs the van, sets off for next venue—and remix them in Petersen’s sunny, deadpan, and subversive style. Two large cardboard structures will dominate the gallery. One is a traditional casework Ford Econoline, the workhorse van of the low-level touring band since the 1970s. The other is a life-size representation of the performers’ green room, where the band awaits, in various states of dread, anticipation, and stupor, their appointment with their audience.

The walls of the exhibition space will also feature a selection of cardboard musical instruments from Shredders: A Fantasy Guitar Store, created by Petersen and collaborator Darius X. The soundtrack for Merch & Destroy is drawn from the music that Petersen has shepherded across the world over his career.

Merch & Destroy was planned, assembled, and constructed over summer 2018 at Amazon Artist’s Residency Studios in downtown Seattle.


Clyde Petersen is a Seattle-based artist, working in film, animation, music, installation, and fabulous spectacle. He is a member of the Transgender and Queer communities in Seattle. Clyde is the director of Torrey Pines, an autobiographical stop-motion animated feature film, which premiered in October 2016 and toured the world with a live score. His work has been featured around the globe in museums, galleries, and DIY venues.


Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists.