Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA)
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA)

Bainbridge Island, WA – Just in time for the Independence Day holiday weekend, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) will open its summer exhibitions on Friday, July 2, 2021. These exhibitions will close September 22, 2021. The exhibitions are a celebration of summer in the Puget Sound, irreverence, and offer a breath of fresh air as we come out of a global lockdown together. Exhibitions include Kurt Solmssen: The Yellow Boat, Nancy Callan & Katherine Gray: The Clown in Me Loves You, Trimpin: Hear & Now, and a new artist’s book exhibition called Every Day & Special Days. The exhibitions are open daily from 10am-5pm and admission is free. The Museum is just steps away from the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal at 550 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Complete exhibition listings can be found at

Kurt Solmssen, RG and the Yellow Boat, 2013, oil on linen, 50”h x 68”w, Private Collection.
Kurt Solmssen, RG and the Yellow Boat, 2013, oil on linen, 50”h x 68”w, Private Collection.

Kurt Solmssen: The Yellow Boat – A major retrospective of work by Kurt Solmssen, The Yellow Boat is comprised of over forty paintings, prints, and drawing studies, from the mid-1980s through 2021 borrowed from collectors, the artist, and Linda Hodges Gallery in Seattle as well as several works promised to BIMA’s Permanent Art Collection. Solmssen is best known as a Plein air painter, capturing life in rural Vaughn, WA. He paints from his waterfront home, on a remote part of Puget Sound, as well as surrounding areas. For more than three decades, he has captured landscapes in various seasons, and family and friends in domestic settings. His paintings are elegant, yet familiar, and convey strong ties to both people and place. Primarily representational, his works explore the space between visual realism and abstraction. Ranging from luminescent to subdued, Solmssen beautifully blends subject, composition, surface, and light. The yellow rowboat, a frequent focus of his paintings, is more than an ordinary vessel pulled up onto the beach. It embodies family histories, a strong sense of place, and perhaps a romantic notion of timelessness.

Originally from Philadelphia, Solmssen began his studies in 1979 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. After receiving certification, he studied at the University of Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986. Afterward, he and his wife Rebecca Schofield moved to the family summerhouse in Puget Sound, where they both worked and raised their family.

Solmssen has shown widely in the United States, exhibiting at galleries in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Santa Fe. His paintings have been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Tacoma Art Museum, Bakersfield Museum of Art, and BIMA. The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the same title, published in 2020, with an essay by Justin Ferate. The book is available in the BIMA Store.

Nancy Callan and Katherine Gray, Dreamer, 2018, blown and sculpted glass with enamels, 13"h x 13"w x 8"d, Courtesy of the Artists, photo credit: Russell Johnson
Nancy Callan and Katherine Gray, Dreamer, 2018, blown and sculpted glass with enamels, 13″h x 13″w x 8″d, Courtesy of the Artists, photo credit: Russell Johnson

Nancy Callan & Katherine Gray: The Clown in Me Loves You – Callan (Seattle) and Gray (Los Angeles) present the results of a four-year-long collaboration in glass. They explore our collective experiences with—and reactions to—clowns. Whether found in childhood memories, in circuses and parades, among those we love, or in our political worlds, clowns seem to be everywhere. The artists use old Venetian glassblowing techniques to mine complex social commentaries. It may seem like light-hearted fun, but multiple layers of feelings and realities emerge. Paint-by-number portraits exude three-dimensional, fragile glass tears. Sad, solo clowns tease out our sympathy as well as affection. Surely some jest, while others smile wryly.

Nancy Callan has been a key member of maestro Lino Tagliapietra’s glassblowing team since 1996 and has mastered Venetian glass cane techniques. Gray is most recently known for Netflix’s Blown Away series, serving as the head resident evaluator. Both artists have extensive exhibition and teaching histories and have received numerous artistic residencies and awards.  Their collaborative exhibition, The Clown in Me Loves You, is a hot-sculpted fusion of kitsch and catharsis. Is it a tunnel of love, or a house of horrors – or some of both?

Every Day & Special Days – This new rotation from the Cynthia Sears Artist’s Books Collection takes you on a journey from daily delights and mundane activities to once-in-a-lifetime events. Time is marked through postcards or weather observations, holding ceremonies, or simply surviving a pandemic. Included are Local Conditions: One Hundred Views of Mt. Rainier (At Least) by Chandler O’Leary, How to Transition on 63 Cents a Day, by Leopoldo Bloom, and Women and Cars by Susan E. King. Women and Cars holds special significance in the collection as it was the first artist’s book acquired by Cynthia Sears, BIMA’s Founder.

Trimpin: Hear & Now – Trimpin (Seattle) is an acclaimed artist, composer, and musician. He collaborated with student artists from Path With Art in Seattle to create this large-scale kinetic sound sculpture. The work is installed on an antique, hand-pulled wagon originally built by Trimpin’s father in Germany. Hear & Now blends sculpture, poetry, electronic composition, and performance with the aim to “unpack” the human experiences encompassed in homelessness. In Trimpin’s words, the piece is “a metaphor for being in constant transition.”

Selections from the Permanent Art Collection (Summer 2021) – BIMA features a diverse array from the Collection. This summer’s rotation includes artworks by Larry “Ulaaq” Ahvakana, Max Grover, Art Hansen, Clayton James, Tom Jay, Heidi Lee, Paul Marioni, Alison (Bremner) Marks, and Marika Swan.

About Bainbridge Island Museum of Art – Bainbridge Island Museum of Art inspires curiosity, wonder, and understanding by connecting people with the contemporary art and craft of the Puget Sound region. The art museum exhibits, interprets, preserves, collects, and promotes works of proven cultural value as well as new works by emerging artists and craftspeople.

The art museum is open daily 10am-5pm. Free admission. All COVID-19 precautions can be found at BIMA is located in beautiful downtown Bainbridge Island, at the corner of Hwy 305 and Winslow Way; just steps away from the ferry terminal, and with easy access via public transportation or by car from the Kitsap Peninsula.

Museum Address: 550 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Mailing & Office Address: 249 Winslow Way E, Suite 300, Bainbridge Island, WA  98110

*Content and images provided by and used with permission from Korum Bischoff, 
Director of Communications & Visitor Experience, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

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