Saturday, June 15, 2013

Exquisite New Art Museum

 The Oxford English Dictionary puts it this way: Museum ~ "A building dedicated to the pursuit of learning or the arts: a home of the Muses."

Did you catch that last part?  The HOME of the Muses! It's where Muses live and wear pajamas!! You want to get in touch with your muse? Do you want to be inspired out of your gourd?  Come to this top notch museum and eat serious toast with your muse.

 I have been to many of the great museums of the world: the Hermitage, the Louvre, the Rijks, Museo National del Prado, Pinakothek, the National Gallery, LACMA, MOMA, the Bunny Museum, etc. And I can tell you for a fact, none of them have Jackson Pollock's head. But the new Bainbridge Island Art Museum (BIMA) does.

 Artist, Scott Fife (the daddy of Tacoma Art Museum's gigantic Leroy, also made out of cardboard and drywall screws) helped me get in touch with my muse.

There is a whole room currently graced with the work of Barbara Helen Berger. Tactile, mysterious, deeply spiritual, delicate, brilliant craftsmanship.  She is indeed a national treasure.

 Her luminous paintings dance between the cellular structures of the physical world and motifs of the spiritual.

 When I first encountered this painting I wasn't sure. My policy has always been to give death a wide berth. Or should that be birth?  Some art takes a while to grow on you and in you. I now adore this painting and the artist.  True: Muses love great art and will bring these powerful images back to mind when you need them most.

 One of the most remarkable features of the museum is the Sherry Grover Gallery. An inner sanctum of unique, hand made books.

 These books are brilliantly crafted puzzles and inquiries expanding the parameters and whatness of bookness.

Oh yeah.

Un huh.

A beaded book.

As you wind up the grand staircase prepare to have your mind blown and loop de looped. Artist Margie McDonald has twirled and twisted fiber, plastics, wire, metals into a dizzying panoply of creatures fantastique. A walk through diorama of spaced-out Cambrian frolickers.

 Lisa Gilley's paintings stop me in my tracks. They warm me and ice me at the same time.

A close up of Nicholas Green's The River.

Okay, you may want to sit down for this. Allen Moe does pit-fired ceramic pieces with dried chicken feet stretched around the vase.

David Eisenhour's bronzes confront you with burnished patinas and the weird beauty of common coastal creatures like this Dungeness Mask

Say hello to my little friend, a guitar with feet by Steve Einhorn.

If you are in the Seattle area you have GOT to check out this fine museum. Your muse is waiting there for you.