Northwest NEWS

May 1, 2000


New museum promises to be dynamic center for Northwest art

Bellevue Art Museum

The new Bellevue Art Museum, designed by architect Steven Holl, is scheduled to open Jan. 6. It will provide an interactive, artistic experience for all ages on the Eastside.

by Deborah Stone, features writer

   The new Bellevue Art Museum is scheduled to open to the public on January 6th of next year. The Museum is the culmination of six years of dreams, hard work, and anticipation, and promises to be a cultural and educational centerpiece for the Eastside community.

   The sixty-foot-tall, three-story building will have 36,000 square feet and two floors of parking. Located directly across from the main entry to Bellevue Square, the new Bellevue Art Museum will have a spirit of openness with a design shaped by the Northwest environment.

   Architect Steven Holl uses the light, rain, and views of the area to make the building a unique place. This architectural jewel will focus on people, rather than objects and on the creative process as well as the product. The goal of the museum is to create an interactive, educational artistic experience for all ages.

   Visitors will directly and personally engage and explore the creative process in this "museum without velvet ropes." A signature feature of the museum is the artist-in-residence program, designed to bring people closer to the creative process through interactions with artists at work.

   There will be three exhibition galleries which will combine presentation spaces where visitors will see contemporary art with discovery rooms that allow for examination of exhibition-related information, demonstrations of art techniques, multimedia programs and studios in which visitors can create their own art.

   A fourth gallery will house the Museum's only permanent exhibition and will be used in teaching issues of light, space, color, and design. The building will also contain five classrooms, an auditorium with seating for one hundred, an expanded museum store, café, and several outdoor terraces.

   Technology will help the Museum to create a student/visitor-driven art experience that appeals to different interests and learning styles. Many provisions will be made for audiovisual and computer-based exhibits. Ambitious programs are planned in education and outreach, studio classes, workshops, screenings, performances, readings, and demonstrations.

   Presently, the Museum's 2000 Capital Campaign is at $21.4 million, with a projected goal of $23 million.

   For further information about the new Bellevue Art Museum, call 425-454-3322, or visit the website at