Inside the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art’s Ambitious Summer Programming

After a year of pandemic-related closures, museums across the Pacific Northwest are beginning to reopen to visitors. For many, it’s a chance to make up for lost time, and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) is no exception. In an ambitious move, the organization has announced not one, but four new shows — all scheduled to open this summer.

In “The Yellow Boat,” plein air painter Kurt Solmssen “slows down time,” says Greg Robinson, chief curator of the museum. Within the retrospective of the longtime South Sound-based artist, “you enter these beautiful paintings from his home and surrounding areas and find yourself walking barefoot on a beach, hill, or porch. Enjoy interior portraits, landscapes, and beach scenes featuring the iconic yellow rowboat that has graced Vaughn Bay for decades,” Robinson says.

Coinciding with “The Yellow Boat,” BIMA presents “Hear & Now” an exploration in human connectivity created in collaboration with Seattle’s Path with Art. Through sculpture, mononymous artist and musician Trimpin transforms an antique cart into an interactive, multimedia installation. “(Local artists) share their stories,” says Robinson, “portraying their lives in transition from homelessness and other challenges.”

In “The Clown in Me Loves You,” a collection of sculptures by glass masters Nancy Callan and Katherine Gray, the duo showcase the results of a four-year-long collaborative process. “This collaborative installation explores our relationships with — and reactions to — clowns,” Robinson explains. “Whether evoking childhood memories, reflecting on personal relationships, or [examining various elements] in our world at large, we cannot avoid some crazy reflections in the funhouse mirror of life.”

And finally, because no museum in 2021 would be complete without it, “Every Day & Special Days” examines works from the Cynthia Sears Collection of Artist’s Books relating to the types of mundane daily activities that see one through a pandemic. Included are “How to Transition on 63 Cents a Day,” by Leopoldo Bloom and “Women and Cars” by Susan E. King.

“The Clown in Me Loves You,” “Hear & Now,” “The Yellow Boat,” and “Every Day & Special Days” open July 2. For more information, visit biartmuseum.org.

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