Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. 550 Winslow Way E. biartmuseum.org – visit anytime
Well, the photo of our beloved Frog Rock tells us where we are these days. We are staying homebound for the most part while we ride the wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since our art galleries and museum of art are shut down, I thought the “focus” would change up a bit for a month or two.
For the most part, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) has not participated in the First Friday Art Walks. However, they recently changed that and are now open for some of them. A whole slate of new exhibitions opened March 14, but the museum has temporarily closed its doors due to the current situation. I would like to take you on a curated virtual tour of what is waiting for you at BIMA.
The sculptures in Peregrine O’Gormley’s first solo museum exhibition, titled “Old Tree,” fill the two main galleries of the first floor — the Mesa and Lovelace Galleries. O’Gormley’s reverence for nature and concern for our environment comes through in his carvings. Sensitively carved, these 30 sculptures, mostly of bird forms, are rendered in styles ranging from realistic to somewhat abstract. The works are a culmination of O’Gormley’s time spent in nature. He grew up exploring the outdoors in the high elevation of the Juan Thomas Valley in central New Mexico and made visits to Alaska and Canada. O’Gormley channels his love and observations of nature into each piece of wood. He primarily carves his figures from local, fallen tree bits (sourced near La Conner, WA) and driftwood (such as maple, yew, juniper and red cedar) as well as yellow cedar when captured and held for him by friends along the Georgia Straight of British Columbia.
His sculptural works are seductive, made with the slight curved surface of the carving tool. Some utilize the weathered wood grain as background texture. (As a metalsmith, I am biased to that surface.) The craftsmanship is solid and elegant. In his hands, carving is an intimate act which transfers the warmth and life experience of the artist to the object and vice versa. A number of the sculptures are bronze casts of carved wood originals, done so well that you feel the same richness along with the added dimension of patinas.
Visit the show’s webpage HERE and be sure to scroll down to see images of six works from the show. O’Gormley’s first museum show is already standing out with an article in the March issue of American Art Collector Magazine. You can find more of his works on his website HERE.
Another show not to miss is the “Fiber 2020” exhibition in the upstairs Feferman Gallery. There is a rich, diverse array of textile art in our state. This show boasts 34 artists from places all over Washington including Bainbridge, Whidbey and Vashon Islands, Redmond, Everett, Anacortes, Shelton, Auburn, Suquamish, Indianola, Port Townsend, Seattle, and Bow. You can visit 13 images from the show HERE.
As a great cross media tie-in, the Orientation Gallery has a small show of Anna Teiche’s oil paintings. Teiche is both a textile artist and painter. Her large paintings, such as “Granny” and “Couple,” are dizzyingly detailed. These works are a high sea of textiles over textiles, of colors and shape, creating a splendid, dense, overall quilt on canvas. You can read more about her influences HERE.
While up on the second floor, visit the Sherry Grover Gallery. This stop is a must. The current exhibition is “All Sorts (No Licorice!)” and includes a major new collaborative work by book artists Emily Martin and Ellen Knudson. Visit the Sherry Grover Gallery page HERE. While viewing this page, please remember to scroll to the bottom for an overview of some of the diverse works that make up the renowned book art collection. There will be 16 images for you to view, and they only begin to scratch the surface of the collection of over 1,600 artworks. Just keep coming back into the gallery to see the never ending, inventive ways artists create in this book art format. When you do, take note of the small group tours the museum offers for each exhibition and collection. You will get in-depth explanations into the books themselves, a glimpse of the many processes involved, and a look at multiple pages from a number of the books. [The next scheduled tour is April 4, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.]
And, whether or not you are visiting the museum’s bistro for sustenance, the John Ellis Bistro Gallery and the Steve Davis Community Gallery host an exhibition featuring members of the Bainbridge Island Studio Tour. The show encompasses the arts and crafts of local artists who offer their works for sale in the summer and winter tours. It is worth seeing the artists’ works in the context of the museum. Rather than driving to the various studio hosts (a studio often hosts several artists, and there is usually a map of the studio locations to visit), you can view samples from members in one place. However, you will miss the opportunity for direct contact with each artist to share their inspirations and answer your questions. So, see this exhibit and make a note to join the next Bainbridge Island Studio Tour.
Be sure to visit BIMA when it reopens to the public. While there are many talks and program offerings each month, most of these were cancelled or postponed in March and may be rescheduled. So, check their calendar for the latest updates: https://www.biartmuseum.org/calendar-events/
ABOUT BILL BARAN-MICKLE: 2020 Island Treasure Awardee . Recently, Bill has enjoyed exhibiting in several international art biennial exhibitions. Of the three in which he has participated, he won Third Place for Sculpture from the European Confederation of Art Critics in the Chianciamo Biennale, at the Chianciano Art Museum in Italy in 2011, and First Place in Applied Arts in the London Biennale of 2013. In 2013 alone, he will have participated in eight exhibitions: from London to a two-person exhibition near home. In addition, Bill was asked to be a representative for CCAC’s exhibition celebrating 100 years of the Metals Department, and a mix of group shows in New York City, Miami, Seattle and Las Vegas. Bill is the designer of the 10 foot Equitorial Bowstring Sundial located at the Richie Observatory in Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island, WA and completed in 2015.