Bellevue Arts Museum Programs
BAM is one of only a handful of museums nationally to offer an artistic program focused on craft and design and the celebration of artists who elevate these practices into the realm of fine art. Each year BAM curators organize half of the Museum’s 8-11 special exhibitions, featuring both emerging and established artists often side-by-side, and select others from highly-regarded museums from around the world. Recent solo and group exhibitions at BAM have included the work of renowned artists or designers including George Nelson, Mary Lee Hu, Dirk Staschke, and Nikki McClure to name just a few.
Interactive Educational Activities
Interactive educational programming accompanies all exhibitions and includes a wide range of learning opportunities for visitors such as artist lectures, scholarly symposia, docent and curator-led tours, hands-on craft activities for children, and artist demonstrations of art and craft techniques. Also provided are written gallery guides, audio tours, and sometimes scholarly catalogues about the art and the artists.
BAM produces the annual ARTSfair and KIDSfair showcasing exemplary work of professional artists who have been selected by a jury of professional curators and art experts. Over 350,000 visitors of all ages come from around the region to enjoy the 300+ artisan booths and purchase exceptional handmade, one-of-a-kind paintings, photographs, woodwork, sculpture, jewelry, glasswork, furniture, textiles, and more. During the BAM ARTSfair, awards of excellence along with a cash prize are presented to 10 artists in recognition of outstanding work.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) is receiving prominent national recognition for exceptional exhibitions and as a leader in the fields of craft and design. In response to BAM Biennial 2012: High Fiber Diet, critic Gayle Clemens wrote in her Seattle Times review “It’s just the second biennial for the Museum but it proves that BAM is on the right track to establishing a meaningful exhibition tradition. For each every-other-year show, the organizers identify a different medium, technique, or theme that will foster discussion between the intersections of art, craft, and design. For this year’s iteration they wisely chose fiber art, which wraps up many strands of contemporary practice and fuses distinctions between art and craft.”
Referring to Bold Expressions: African American Quilts from the Collection of Corrine Riley, Nancy Worssam wrote “It's the bold colors and creative designs that will first catch your eye as you walk through Bellevue Arts Museum's show of quilts. But look closer...Be amazed at the levels of artistry captured in each.”
BAM depends on the support of our community to provide high quality art, craft, and design exhibitions throughout the year along with a full suite of corresponding education programs for all ages. Funding from corporations, foundations, government entities, and individuals allows us to keep admission prices low and to present programs such as our Free First Fridays each month and three free Family Days each year. On behalf of all of us here at BAM, thank you for your generous support.