This museum, just outside Seattle, exhibits all manner of arts, crafts, and design work, focusing on Pacific Northwest artists. It was founded in 1975 in a schoolhouse. It moved into its current home, a larger space designed by architect Steven Holl, in downtown Bellevue to accommodate its growing collection and program offerings.
Featured objects at the museum include Etsuko Ichikawa’s glass pyrograph Traces of the Molten State, Peter Pierobon’s Chair Stack sculpture, and Gail Grinnell’s textile sculpture Lightly Here. Past exhibitions have included showcases of American quilt classics from 1800 to 1980, contemporary artists transforming the book arts, and ceramic art by Kurt Weiser.
The museum is particularly known for its artsfair, held annually in the summer. The juried, outdoor festival showcases submissions by a diverse group of contemporary artists. Last year, over 320,000 visitors attended the fair.
Bellevue Arts Museum Information
- Public Transportation: Great (a 2-minute walk from bus 230 at 106th Avenue/NE 6th Street; and a 3-minute walk from bus 550 at NE 4th Street/105th Avenue NE, and buses 240, 261, and 271 at NE 8th Street/Bellevue Way NE)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Friday 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Admission: $10 adult, $7 students (w/ID) and seniors (62+), free for children (under 6) and members. Free to the public on the first Friday of each month
- Tour: Free with the price of admission. Docent-led tours are available daily at 1:00 p.m.
- Membership: Individual membership is $50; Family membership is $75. Students, teachers, artists, and seniors receive discounted memberships. Every member receives invitations to exclusive members-only events; invitations to meet curators, artists and collectors; exhibition previews; unlimited free admission; a 10% Museum Store discount and special members-only sales; special discounts for talks, workshops and more; and discounts at select retail stores and restaurants.