When Bellevue's biennial sculpture exhibition opens on July 13, residents will be treated to art works that celebrate regeneration, with salvaged wood, plastic bottles and other discarded items incorporated into new, eye-catching forms.
|This article appears, along with pictures of some of the sculptures, in the June issue of "It's Your City," available at the newsletter page. Other news covered in the newsletter includes: the South Bellevue annexation, with interviews from our newest residents; inexpensive summer activities; a city effort to make it easier and cheaper for residents to use solar power; and collaboration with Sound Transit to cut light rail costs.|
"Bellwether 2012: reGeneration" will feature 44 sculptures and installations, at City Hall, Downtown Park and points in between; it will be on display until Oct. 21. An opening celebration will be 6 p.m. Friday, July 13, at City Hall, with many of the artists available to discuss their works.
The Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition started 20 years ago with about a dozen sculptures in Downtown Park. Over time more locations were tried, and the number of art works in the show has now more than tripled. In 2010 the Bellevue Arts Commission renamed the exhibition "Bellwether" to emphasize a forward-looking approach.
For several years sustainability has been the exhibition's theme. This year the Arts Commission, which guides the exhibition, was impressed by 2010 census figures showing how much Bellevue’s population has changed.
The Commission invited artists to submit works that address the question: "How does a city that has experienced so much change remake or regenerate itself in a sustainable way?" The sculptures and installations in the exhibition that tackle that question offer a broad range of materials and ideas for their answers.
"Flourish" by Barbara DePirro of Seattle, will be an intricate assemblage of plastic bottles, bottle caps and twist ties mounted in a beautiful pattern on two light poles on Bellevue Way, part of the exhibition trail between City Hall and Downtown Park. In Julia Haack's "Rasta Rastapoulos," to be on display in City Hall, pieces of salvaged wood are painted bright colors and assembled into a wall-mounted relief sculpture, titled after a cartoon character in the "Tintin" graphic novels.
Northwest artists dominate the list of exhibitors, but artists from all over the United States and other countries apply to be part of the show.
This year, visitors can see the show online, and find out more about the art work through cell phone tours. Efforts are underway to add mobile web platform-based information so that visitors can use their cell phone to find out more about the show. The Bellevue Arts Program has a Facebook page and is building a Twitter following. When the exhibition starts, free walking maps and catalogs will be available at City Hall and online at Bellwether 2012.
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