As the museum reopens more fully this spring, and we again sense the pleasure of being a gathering place with art as the centering experience, we are also called to reflect.
We continue to be profoundly grateful for the generosity of our extended community. Through gifts of time, talent and resources, efforts large and small, deep commitment and hard work, and a thousand strokes of luck, BIMA has been able to reopen when many other arts organizations remain shuttered. We are grateful to be here, conscious of our good fortune, and are working to help other organizations back to their feet—reminded every day that we can pay forward this gratitude by fostering connection, healing, challenge, and inspiration through art.
This moment is also one of profound change, marked by unfathomable and continued examples of racial and social injustice, inequity, and violence across the US. BIMA’s response to this inflection point begins with self-inquiry and a commitment to make visible the values that we hold close. With that, we’re working to do and be better, to cultivate and support safe spaces, and to ensure that all voices are heard, valued, and welcomed.
As we lean into this learning, we turn first to the artists who can lead the way for us all. As a museum, we are both privileged and responsible to be the best spotlight, platform, and petri dish that we can, particularly for contemporary artists of the Puget Sound region. In BIMA’s front Beacon window right now hangs “Song for Generations” a particularly relevant piece of work by artist Michelle Kumata, a comment on the legacy of harm related to the Japanese American incarceration. This work captures the complexities of a shameful and wrenching historical trauma within this community and the country while serving as a poignant reminder that racially motivated violence still exists. At BIMA, we are proud to champion and support voices like hers, voices that help keep these issues present in our minds and hearts as a foundation to mitigating harm.
Thank you for joining us at the museum, for immersing yourself in the pleasures and perspectives of the artists we showcase, for sharing the values we hold, for lending a hand as we put our cultural community back together, and for working together to lean into the work that we have in front of us.