An emeritus art professor from Columbia Basin College recently won one of two prizes for the Bellevue Art Museum’s latest Biennial exhibition.
Morse Clary, who retired from CBC in 1998, took home the Samuel and Patricia Smith People’s Choice Award for the six pieces he displayed in the show. The honor, named after a Washington State University emeritus president and his wife, came with a $5,000 cash prize.
Almost 40 artists participated in the show, which the museum first began offering in 2010. Curators aim for a new focus of exploration for the show and that can concern medium, artistic techniques or theme. This edition of the biennial, Knock on Wood, focused on pieces using wood.
Clary’s sculptural pieces derive their form from books, which he has great love and appreciation for. But they cannot be used as a traditional book.
“The suggestion is that certain meanings are beyond words and can only be conveyed via the visual and tactile elements that are the language of the visual arts. The viewers must extend frames of reference and respond to substance and nuance,” Clary said in a statement about his work.
More than 4,400 of the 20,000-plus visitors to the biennial voted for this year’s people’s choice winner. The show runs until March 29.