When Bellevue's biennial sculpture exhibition opens downtown on June 27, passersby will experience some unusual sights. They'll see carefully folded sheet metal that evokes ocean waves, a headless mannequin covered with a mosaic of broken eggshells and 2,000 recycled plastic bags cut into strips and crocheted in plant forms.
The exhibition, called "Bellwether 2014: Connect," features more than 30 sculptures and installations, all within a three-quarter mile walking route, from City Hall to Downtown Park. A free, opening celebration will be 6-8 p.m., Friday, June 27, at City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE. Many of the participating artists will be present to discuss their work. "Bellwether 2014" will be on view through October 12.
A panel that includes Seattle artist John Grade and Stefano Catalani, Bellevue Arts Museum director of art, craft and design, selected the pieces for Bellwether from more than 200 submissions. Northwest makers dominate the list, but artists from Canada and across the United States also are featured. Many of artworks have been created specifically for the exhibition and will be on view for the first time. video about the making of one piece
With the theme of "connect," exhibition viewers are invited to reflect upon how they connect with community, nature and one another. A free mobile app, called STQRY, provides easy access to the stories behind the art; viewers can share in a conversation about the sculptures via the Arts Program Facebook page. Exhibition maps and catalogues will be available throughout downtown Bellevue and on the exhibition web page.
Also, free, guided tours are available for groups of eight or more. To make a request at least two weeks in advance, email firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Tour" in the subject line.
Bellwether 2014: Connect is organized by the Bellevue Arts Program, and is on view every other year during the summer. It started 22 years ago as the Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition and was renamed "Bellwether" in 2010 to emphasize a forward-looking approach. In addition to the biennial sculpture exhibition, downtown Bellevue features 120 year-round public art works, making it one of the most art-friendly cities in the region.
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