Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) is a collecting museum with a focus on artists and collections from the Puget Sound region. Located just adjacent to the Seattle/Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, BIMA is a welcoming landmark and a prominent community resource for quality arts and lifelong learning, and since opening in June 2013 has become the cultural living room for Bainbridge Island with an auditorium, Bistro, store, and a variety of free and paid events. General museum admission is free everyday thanks to our donors and members.
BIMA features themes and artists ranging from emerging and lesser known artists to recognized masters. Exhibitions change three times per year - bringing the museum’s visitors 15-20 new shows to experience annually. Education for people of all ages, interests and abilities is at the core of the organization with a variety of classes, tours, films, workshops, lectures and events to support its values.
In 2009 BIMA's Founding Board was formed to help realize the vision of BIMA's Founder Cynthia Sears. The group began researching regional museums and exploring unfilled community needs, especially on Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas with an emphasis on public input. A non-profit organization was formed with a founding board of trustees and the perfect location was secured at Winslow Way and Highway 305, a short walk from the ferry terminal. A significant donation was secured to purchase the land, and a partnership with the Island Gateway development was formed to create a combined campus for nonprofit organizations, retail and commercial offices. A project team including Asani, Coates Design (Matthew Coates, principal architect) and PHC Construction was formed and program and space planning was initiated. Public engagement continued through a design review event, First Friday Art Walk receptions in the former Discovery Center, and through local media including newspaper articles, and various community and arts blogs.
In 2010, after securing several million in initial funding, the museum’s board hired its first full-time Executive Director who worked with museum leadership on program visions, completing building designs, budgets and construction, finalizing operating and transitional budgets, expanding the board and its committees, and organizing for the capital campaign, including forming a robust Capital Campaign Steering Committee.
Construction of the Museum was completed and BIMA opened to the public in June 2013 with it’s inaugural group show “First Light” curated by Greg Robinson, Max Grover, Norie Sato, Jake Seniuk, Barbara Earl Thomas, Janice Shaw, and Cynthia Sears. Since its opening, BIMA has built an audience of passionate members and and approximately 55,000 annual visitors from around the globe.