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Bellwether 2012: reGeneration

By Keegan Prosser on June 30, 2012 – No Comment

"Constellations II" by C.J. Rench will be on display at Downtown Park as part of the Bellwether 2012: reGeneration exhibition.

BY KEEGAN PROSSER

The city of Bellevue will host it’s 11th sculpture and installation exhibition this summer, when the Bellwether 2012: reGeneration exhibition and art walk kicks off July 13.

Started in 1992, Bellwether is a biennial, three- to four-month display of sculptures and installations in Downtown Bellevue that began as an experiment to see what type of art Eastsiders enjoy. This year’s exhibition, taking place through October 21, will include a variety of sculptures and installations ranging from small to nearly 19-feet tall throughout downtown.

“We’ve been using a theme of sustainability since 2008. And we really like it a lot,” said Mary Pat Byrne, arts specialist for the city of Bellevue.

Reflecting on the drastic growth Bellevue has experienced in recent years, artists were asked to consider sustainable transformation when pitching works of art.

Of the 255 entries received, 44 pieces will be displayed throughout Downtown Bellevue: 21 inside City Hall, eight on City Hall Plaza, 11 in Downtown Park and four located at different sites between City Hall and the Downtown Park.

Byrne said the ‘reGeneration’ theme was interpreted broadly – ranging from how sustainability applies to method, meaning of the art and the materials used to create the piece. She said most entries revolve around general sustainability practices, such as consciousness of materials and the reuse of materials.

This year’s selections were chosen by a panel consisting of local experts Carol Anderson and Ellen Zeigler, as well as Steven Siegel of Albany, NY. Together the three panelists have a variety of experience in commissioning art, installation art and the use of natural materials.

Half of the artists are from the Northwest, including Seattle artist Miguel Edward. Other artists include Julia Haack, Chris McMullen, Tom Gormally, CJ Rench and John Zylstra.

In addition to increasing the number of installations this year, the Bellwether 2012: reGeneration exhibition will feature an unusually high number of large pieces – both inside and out.

Sculptures will start being installed July 5, with an opening celebration set for July 13 at City Hall. The free celebration is open to the public and will feature several artists whose work will be part of the exhibit. Exhibition maps and catalogs will be available at the opening ceremony and a downloadable version of the map will also be available at this time.