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Embracing the New Year: BIMA’s Winter/Spring Exhibitions

by Greg Robinson, Chief Curator

BIMA launches into this most unusual and unpredictable new year, partnering with several artists to embrace reality and relevance in these times. We kick off 2021 with a range of exhibitions addressing race equity and social justice, situational irony, reflections on nature, and even beauty for beauty’s sake.

Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, political disharmony, and economic turmoil for many, 2020 stands out as a pivotal year of reckoning in America. In response to relentless attacks on race equity and civil rights, BIMA presents Breathe. This group exhibition is inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Artists include Humaira Abid, Cory Bennett Anderson, Eileen Jimenez, Michelle Kumata, Marilyn Montufar, Susan Point, Roger Shimomura, Carletta Carrington Wilson, and Linda Wolf. The artists highlight historical and current injustices, and survival and hope, honoring Dr. King’s dreams—still far out of reach for so many.

Paul Rucker’s FOREVER series is displayed in part with thirteen new works in BIMA’s Permanent Art Collection.  In this powerful work, Rucker acknowledges civil rights martyrs that will probably never appear on US postage stamps. Included are Four Little Girls, victims of the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, and Edwin T. Pratt, former Executive Director of the Seattle Urban League murdered in 1969 at his home. Both Breathe and FOREVER are part of BIMA’s Untold Stories series this winter.

Paul Rucker, Four Little Girls

Kimberly Trowbridge: Into the Garden is a large solo exhibition featuring a diverse, yet cohesive, body of paintings. The work reflects images, ideas, and methods developed over the past two years as a Creative Fellow at Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island.

Kimberly Trowbridge (Seattle), Sea of Ferns (Bloedel), 2019, oil on paper, 22 " x 30", Courtesy of the Artist, kimberlytrowbridge.com @kimberly_trowbridge

Water Is… is co-curated by Cynthia Sears, BIMA Founder, and Catherine Alice Michaelis.  This water-themed exhibition draws from the Cynthia Sears Collection of Artist’s Books. Artists include Amandine Nabarra-Piomelli and Shu-Ju Wang.

In later February, we open Nancy Callan and Katherine Gray: The Clown in Me Loves You. Callan and Gray have collaborated for over four years on this new series of glass sculptures. They combine Venetian glassblowing techniques with contemporary commentary on the roles of, and reactions to, clowns. Initially it all seems like light-hearted fun, but multiple layers of feelings and social realities emerge upon taking a closer look at these fascinating pieces.

Nancy Callan and Katherine Gray, The Dreamer, 2018, blown and sculpted glass with enamels, 13”h x 8”w x 8”d, Courtesy of the Artists

Trimpin: Hear & Now also opens in later February. Trimpin is an acclaimed artist, composer, and musician. He collaborated with student artists from Path With Art in Seattle to create this large-scale kinetic sound sculpture. The work incorporates an antique, hand-pulled wagon, originally built by Trimpin’s father in Germany. Hear & Now aims to reveal human experiences encompassed in homelessness. In Trimpin’s words, the piece is “a metaphor for being in constant transition.”

Trimpin: Hear & Now

While BIMA is temporarily closed due to COVID restrictions, we’re excited to bring ways for you to experience these exhibitions from afar until we can reopen our doors. Check our website calendar for upcoming exhibition-related events and join our email list to receive information about video and other digital content coming up.

Images (top to bottom):

Kimberly Trowbridge (Seattle), Camelia Walk III (detail), 2020, oil on linen on panel, 48″h x 96″w, Courtesy of Linda Hodges Gallery, kimberlytrowbridge.com

Michelle Kumata (Seattle), Resilience, 2019, acrylic on paper, 11”h x 14”w, Collection of the Artist, michellekumata.com, @michellekumata

Paul Rucker, Four Little Girls, Fujicolor Crystal Archive emulsion sealed between solid recycled aluminum and a high-gloss UV protective laminate, 40″h x 30″w each, Edition of 18, BIMA Permanent Art Collection

Kimberly Trowbridge (Seattle), Sea of Ferns (Bloedel), 2019, oil on paper, 22 ” x 30″, Courtesy of the Artist, kimberlytrowbridge.com, @kimberly_trowbridge

Shu-Ju Wang (Portland, OR), Water, 2014, meandering book structure, silkscreen (Print Gocco), gouache, color pencils, letterpress by Diane Jacobs, text: two poems by Emily Newberry, #31 of 40, 5.375″h x 5.25″w closed; 21.5″h x 25″w open, photo credit: Bill Bachhuber, Cynthia Sears Collection of Artists Books

Nancy Callan and Katherine Gray, The Dreamer, 2018, blown and sculpted glass with enamels, 13”h x 8”w x 8”d, Courtesy of the Artists

Trimpin, Hear & Now, Mixed media sound installation on antique hand-built cart

Image carousel of installation process for Michaelle Kumata’s Song for Generations in BIMA’s Beacon Window