Art At The Collection
From hosting the BAM Arts Fair since 1947, to housing the newly minted Bellevue Arts Museum on the third floor of Bellevue Square in 1983, to welcoming PACE’s Art Without Barriers performers and creatives throughout the year, The Bellevue Collection is proud to support the arts. The artwork housed in Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place, and Lincoln Square North and South has its origins in the Pacific Northwest, and each piece tells a unique story. These are just a few of the notable pieces that have a permanent home here at The Collection.
Forest Deity (Dudley Carter, 1947)
Kemper Freeman, Sr. approached sculptor Dudley Carter to commission the now-iconic Forest Deity after seeing his earlier work displayed at the first Bellevue Arts & Crafts Festival (now the BAM Arts Festival). The Forest Deity is twelve feet high, hand-carved and inspired by Carter’s childhood spent among the Kwakiutl and Tlingit Indigenous people. Thought to be Bellevue’s first piece of public art, the Deity has been meticulously preserved over the years, and now sits, restored, at the Bellevue Square West Drive North Entrance.
Full Circle (Anna Hanson, 2008) & Bellevue Portholes (Steve Jensen, 2008)
61 years after Dudley Carter completed the Forest Deity for Kemper Freeman, Sr., his granddaughter Anna Hanson crafted “Full Circle” for Kemper Freeman, Jr. The beautiful piece is carved from the Atlantic Cedar that replaced the famous madrona tree that once served as a centerpiece for Bellevue Shopping Square’s Crabapple Restaurant. In order to honor the tree’s history and continue the legacy of Bellevue Square’s first art piece by Dudley Carter, Kemper Freeman reached out to his granddaughter Anna Hanson. Anna used her grandfather’s tools and techniques and carved the scene that now encircles the fireplace at The Lodge, a depiction of waterfowl taking flight.
Pictured here in their former location in Bellevue Square’s Fountain Court, Steve Jensen’s Bellevue Portholes now sit in the windows of The Lodge, across from Full Circle. Carved from reclaimed wood, the poles play off Jensen’s signature calligraphic motifs and lend an earthy and beautiful tone to the space.
Endless Celebration (Gesso Cocteau, 2005)
An uncommonly large bronze-cast sculpture, Endless Celebration stands at 51’ and weighs approximately three tons. It depicts one figure balancing, seemingly weightless, over another, their hands entwined. The artist, Gesso Cocteau, created the sculpture “to reflect a strong community where people who live here can work hard and enjoy the good life.” In recognition of the importance of performance art to the Freeman family, the Endless Celebration marks the block that is slated to house the Performance Arts Center Eastside (PACE).
Various Works of Dale Chihuly
Now a Pacific Northwest legend, Dale Chihuly once blew glass for a captive audience at the 1968 BAM Arts Fair. His 2006 End Of Day chandelier installation occupies a 43-foot-long vertical space, turning the atrium into a visual destination for guests just entering the space via the skybridge from Bellevue Square. Below the chandelier is a piece called Purple Spires in the Fountain, on the first level of the atrium. Chihuly’s paitings are displayed both on the first level of Lincoln Square North and on the third floor of the Westin Bellevue.
The construction of Bellevue Place and Lincoln Square North and South expanded the amount of space for additional local and national art work to be displayed. The Westin Bellevue, W Bellevue and Hyatt Regency Bellevue hotels all house unique artwork, including sculptures, murals, and fine paintings.
When you visit the BAM Arts Fair, be sure to check out art around The Collection.