Grand Adventure at The Bellevue Arts Museum

So there I was, sitting in creative stagnation. Being a very uncomfortable spot to be in, yesterday I decided to take myself on an Artist Date to The Bellevue Arts Museum. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of going on an artist’s date yet, it is, roughly, ” a block of time […] especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. […] The artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against any interlopers. You do not take anyone on the artist date but you and your inner artist, aka your creative child.” (From the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, pg. 18)

I went alone. Why? because that is when I am free to explore and think  thoughts without the influence of a companion. It is a way of defining, to myself; who I am. It’s empowering!

These types of excursions are important to me because of a point Twyla Tharp also makes in her book, The Creative Habit, to “Never scratch the same place twice.” (pg.106) She is referring to the process of coming up with ideas; that you shouldn’t just stay at your same desk or table… in the same room or studio when you are creating; you have to get out of your routine because it’s easier to gain a fresh perspective and find inspiration when you have a river of fresh thoughts flowing through your brain; it helps with the Ah-Ha! moment.

So on I went on my grand adventure to Bellevue!

The Bellevue Arts Museum... can't wait to go in!

The exhibit was Push Play: The 2012 NCECA Invitational, where 35 ceramic artists displayed work out of 200 highly talented people that applied. For me, the most thought-provoking piece was by Anne Drew Potter (Berlin Germany), titled “The Captains Congress” (the tenth image). As you walk in, it is right in the center of a medium-sized room– it is a skillfully crafted ceramic, while the subject matter is a bit abrasive, but Potter is making a statement about “role play and peer pressure…” and “questions power structures at every stage in life.” It’s also about “intense scrutiny and judgement” by others and the potential to be “bullied or ostracized”… whether the ones who are part of the group are more fortunate than the one who is being locked out… that the one being ostracized “might actually be the lucky one.”

My favorite was a piece by Charlie Cummings called “Return to the Light” because I was just taken aback by its luminosity and delicate play with light. The piece was a reminiscence  of “good times that are now fragments of memory.” It showed photographs of a child that looked like he was playing in a river… The dominant colors were soft blues and a glowing white… it was just interesting to linger through the ceramic innertubes and I marveled at how the light shimmered like the memory of water being moved by a current or a strong breeze.

As I passed the Gift Shop window, the reflection with the silk flowers caught my eye.

I also saw George Nelson exhibit— His design work still remains to this day. He is most famous for his work done in the late 1940’s and 1950s in graphic design. If you are curious about it, you can click on the above link. Definitely worth seeing if you are into design. (I may delve into it further in another post.)

(I found myself becoming curious about the photographed objects and the visual illusions of the reflections again when I saw the Chihuly glass. Life is good when you are in a place where you just stumble upon a gorgeous work of art that you weren’t expecting. That happened a lot in that neighborhood.)

Chihuly Glass at Lincoln Center (down the block)

Consider me officially, visually spoiled. Happy.

Twinkley Trees in Bellevue...even the parking garage looks beautiful.

It was just such a perfect evening that I had to linger a little. This is why I love the city.

The Bellevue Skyline at Dusk

About Rachel Heu

"Creativity is an act of defiance. You're challenging the status quo. You're questioning accepted truths and principles. You're asking three universal questions that mock conventional wisdom: Why do I have to obey the rules? Why can't I be different? Why can't I do it my way?" --Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life (pg. 133)
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4 Responses to Grand Adventure at The Bellevue Arts Museum

  1. Betty says:

    That sounds like an excellent way to stimulate your thought process. I believe in artist dates. I did a painting once based on something I saw in the reflection oc chihuley glass that I saw at a museum.

  2. Gracie Smith says:

    Great words from Twyla Tharp, and so true. Must get out to a museum tomorrow!

    • Rachel Heu says:

      Hi Gracie, I recommend her book for anyone who wants to be more creative. Have fun at the museum…and if you want, post a link to your blog here if you end up sharing about your adventure to the museum.

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