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Michael Peterson: Evolution|Revolution

April 9 - September 20, 2009


Bellevue Arts Museum's featured solo exhibition of Northwest artist Michael Peterson begins its national tour schedule this fall. Evolution|Revolution is the first comprehensive look at Peterson's poetic wood sculpture inspired by the craggy skies and misty rains of the Pacific Northwest. (right: Michael Peterson, Coastal Stack III, 2007, 21 x 36 x 11 inches, Madrone burl, Carved, sandblasted, bleached and pigmented. Collection of Jon and Diana Sebaly. Photo: Rex Rystedt)

"There is nothing more rewarding than being able to introduce artists from our own region to new audiences across the nation," says Bellevue Arts Museum's Director of Curatorial Affairs, Michael Monroe, who in collaboration with Bellevue Arts Museum Curator Stefano Catalani organized Peterson's first solo museum exhibition.

Michael Peterson: Evolution|Revolution is one of four exhibitions conceived and curated by Bellevue Arts Museum that have traveled to other museum venues around the country -- a major accomplishment for both the artists and Bellevue Arts Museum. It is also one in a series of exhibitions and publications presented by Bellevue Arts Museum that highlights the richness and vibrancy of regional craft artists. "Shedding light on the incredible talent we have in this region while introducing national and international artists to this community is at the heart of our mission," Catalani adds. "It's all about stimulating conversation, new ideas and fresh perspectives on the blurring boundaries between art, craft and design."


Exhibition Information

Following the unique trajectory of wood sculptor Michael Peterson over the past twenty years, Michael Peterson: Evolution|Revolution traces the evolution from the artist's early works heavily dictated by the lathe -- the mechanical tool wood turners typically use to produce symmetrically shaped objects, either for decorative or functional uses -- to his current, revolutionary sculptures devoid of the lathe. Over 30 sculptures are on view at Bellevue Arts Museum until September 20, 2009. (left: Michael Peterson, Earth and Stones II, 2004, 14 x 29 x 13 inches, Madrone burl and blackwood, Carved, sandblasted, bleached, pigmented. Collection of Ronald and Anita Wornick. Photo: Rex Rystedt)

An artist with a growing national reputation, Peterson's work is deeply inspired by the unique environment of the Pacific Northwest, specifically Lopez Island where he has lived with his wife, Jean, for the past 15 years. He works primarily outdoors, without even a tarp to shield him in inclement weather. The artist begins with wet chunks of wood which he carves and hollows using a chainsaw. As the pieces dry, they shrink and warp in unpredictable ways, heightening the grain patterns and creating rich textures. His sculptures speak of birds, stones, wave-tossed driftwood and landscapes and quietly emanate a deep sense of spirituality and place.


Artist Biography

Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Peterson now resides on Lopez Island, one of the San Juan Islands in Washington, where he draws heavily from the surrounding environment. Peterson's work has been featured in many exhibitions over the last 20 years, and can be found in public collections throughout North America, including: the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC and the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC among others.

Michael Peterson: Evolution|Revolution is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum, and co-curated by Michael Monroe, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Stefano Catalani, Curator. This exhibition has been made possible by the Windgate Charitable Foundation with additional support by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the City of Bellevue. A catalogue with essays by Robyn Horn, Matthew Kangas and Kevin Wallace accompanies the exhibition.

Michael Peterson: Evolution|Revolution Tour Schedule:

San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design, San Francisco, CA
October 16, 2009 - January 3, 2010
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX
March 26 - July 2, 2010
Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
July 23 - October 3, 2010
Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, PA
November 5, 2010 - February 2011
Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
March 25 - July 3, 2011
Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
August 6 - November 13, 2011

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