Sidewalk mosaic of ferry boat, Bainbridge Island

Sidewalk mosaic of ferry boat, Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

One shouldn’t need an excuse to enjoy a ferry ride from time to time — being out on the water is its own reward — but now I will be looking forward to more frequent trips to Bainbridge Island just to visit its new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.  Opened in mid-June of this year, the light-filled museum is a showcase for artists and craftspeople from the Puget Sound Region.  I loved the focus on local art, and because the museum promises to change its displays seasonally, I am looking forward to returning again and again.

One of the whimsical sculptures in Margie McDonald's "Sea 'scape"

One of the whimsical sculptures in Margie McDonald’s “Sea ‘scape”

"What Shakes the Eye" by illustrator Barbara Helen Berger

“What Shakes the Eye” by illustrator Barbara Helen Berger

"Cat Table" by Frank Renlie

“Cat Table” by Frank Renlie

Bainbridge Island Museum of ArtThe museum couldn’t be more welcoming — admission is free, and it’s conveniently located a short walk from the ferry terminal.

One of my favorite things about the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is its rooftop garden.  It is set up something like the art inside the museum in that it is meant to be viewed from behind a fence — it’s not a garden you can touch and walk through.  It’s a rock garden and very Zen-like.  The sculptural shapes of the rocks and succulents also make it feel like a continuation of the art exhibits inside.

Rooftop garden, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Rooftop garden

Rooftop garden

Succulents, rooftop garden

Succulents, rooftop garden

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Rooftop garden

Ferry rides and museums — both vehicles for transport.  A satisfying combination on this day trip from urban Seattle.

From a street mural in Pioneer Square

From a street mural in Pioneer Square

The Glasshouse at Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle

My sister and her husband were visiting from Wisconsin, and while playing tourist in Seattle, I finally went to see the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum that opened earlier this year.  The exhibition surpassed my expectations.  I’m sure it will become a top tourist site for Seattle, but like the Pike Place Market, it should also be a go-to destination for those of us who live here.  I’ll be returning, especially if they host special exhibits from time to time.

Some of the Chihuly pieces on display at Chihuly Garden and Glass are familiar, like old friends.  The Northwest Room was similar to the exhibit I saw at the Tacoma Art Museum in June 2011.  The Persian Ceiling feels similar to the Bridge of Glass in Tacoma.  But there were many, many new pieces too.  I loved how room opened upon room, each stunning in a new way.  Here’s a virtual tour:

Glass Forest

The Northwest Room

Glass baskets in the Northwest Room, inspired by Chihuly’s collection of Native woven baskets

Chihuly glass and his collection of Native trade blankets

Chihuly’s collection of Edward Curtis prints on the wall leading to the Sealife Room

Sealife Room

The Sealife Room opened into the room with the Persian Ceiling

Awestruck visitors take in the Persian Ceiling

Strategically placed benches allowed you to rest a while and immerse yourself in the art

The Persian Ceiling Room, with its reflections, was my favorite part of Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Doorway to the Milli Fiori Room

The glass sculptures were dramatically lit in the black room.

Detail, glass sculptures in Milli Fiori room

Detail, glass sculptures in the Milli Fiori room

Ikebana and Float Boat

Chihuly’s paintings are energetic and colorful.

Next, a room of glass chandeliers

Orange chandelier

Detail, chandeliers

Macchia Forest Room

Detail, glass sculpture in Macchia Forest Room

Glasshouse, Chihuly Garden and Glass

Tomorrow’s post will take you into the Garden.  Stay tuned!

Flower vendor at Seattle’s Pike Place Market

It’s always a treat to play tourist in my home town, and yesterday I wandered through the Pike Place Market with my niece and her kids.  The Pike Place Market is open year round, but it is especially colorful right now with so many cut flowers vying for your attention.  The vendors were busy assembling gigantic bouquets for sale at just $10 to $15.

Flower vendor and bucket of peonies

This bouquet was selling for $15

Another vendor’s fresh bouquets

Buckets of lupine and irises

Vendor putting together a bouquet behind an array of glorious poppies

Kerchief camouflaged among the flowers

Flower stall through plastic window

Pike Place Market flower vendors

Fallen sweet peas by the vendors’ stalls

Zoo Animals

December 31, 2010

Yesterday was the last day for my Zoo Walker’s Program at the Woodland Park Zoo.  So let me share a few pictures from my zoo outing:

Giraffe at feeding time

Wolf, Northern Trail exhibit, Woodland Park Zoo

"The gaze of the wolf reaches into our soul." -- Barry Lopez

Elk, Northern Trail exhibit, Woodland Park Zoo

Toucan, Rainforest exhibit, Woodland Park Zoo

The toucan was a welcome splash of color in this winter season.

The Japanese Garden in Seattle

I saw signs of autumn this week at the Japanese Garden in Seattle.  The edges of some maple leaves had already turned orange.  And the spiders were busy building webs.  I plan to return in October when the fall foliage should be at its peak.

The Japanese Garden is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  It’s a lovely oasis in the city and well worth a visit.

Bridge over the ponds in the Japanese Garden

The leaves were starting to turn in the garden.

I love the pattern of leaves with their shadows.

Lily pads

Reflections in the ponds at the Japanese Garden

Feeding frenzy: koi vs. thieving duck

Colorful koi at the Japanese Garden

Ginkgo leaves

Green pine cone, Japanese Garden

I love how the spider web reflects the colors of the leaves.

One of several Japanese lanterns on the grounds of the Japanese Garden

Pioneer Square, a gathering spot

There’s an interesting art installation in Pioneer Square right now, suspended over the scene.  The most striking parts of this art are two white objects that look like huge lace handkerchiefs, like a giant’s laundry hung up to dry.  I liked the interplay of the cutouts and the dappled leaves nearby.

Draped art resembles a lace handkerchief

Lacey cutouts and dappled leaves

Art suspended over Pioneer Square

A block away is a wonderful mural painted on the side of a vacant building.  It features graffiti, Picasso, and images from Guernica.  It seems to be anticipating the Picasso exhibit opening at the Seattle Art Museum in October.

Mural at 213 S Main St near Pioneer Square

Graffiti + Picasso + Guernica mural

New public labyrinth outside the Experience Music Project

Labyrinth with Spaceneedle looming

Seattle has a new labyrinth that is open to the public every day.  I am drawn to the idea of labyrinths, walking mediations, and contemplation, so I made a point to check out this new installation.  It’s located adjacent to the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center.

I did walk the labyrinth, but never fully settled into the flow of the experience.  Perhaps its location in the midst of one of Seattle’s most popular tourist sites was too distracting.  It felt more like a playground than a sanctuary.

But it’s always interesting to look at the unusual architecture of the nearby Experience Music Project, designed by Frank Gehry, which seems to change its colors depending on the weather.

Monorail track and Experience Music Project

Spaceneedle reflected in the Experience Music Project building

Rose after rain shower

Woodland Park Rose Garden

June is the month of roses, so I made a special effort to visit the Woodland Park Rose Garden between rain showers.  I thought if I waited for a sunny day, I might miss the entire rose season.  Seattle has set a new weather record.  We have never before gone this far into the year without hitting 75 degrees.  Looks like we won’t be hitting that mark any time soon!

The roses covered in raindrops were lovely.

Intrigue Floribunda

About Face

Heirloom Hybrid Tea Rose

Rose bud amidst the allium

French Perfume Hybrid Tea Rose

Lily pond at the Woodland Park Rose Garden

Duck napping in the lily pond

Lily pads and blooms

Spokane is the largest city in Eastern Washington, but it feels more like a Midwestern town than a  high-powered urban area.  I’ve been to Spokane several times, but this was the first time I enjoyed some of its tourist sites.

The Joy of Running Together, a sculpture installation by David Govedare in Riverside Park, Spokane

Shafts of sunlight through the arches of the Monroe Street Bridge, visible in the mist of the Lower Falls

Skyride over the Lower Falls of the Spokane River

The lilac gardens were still in bloom at Manito Park in Spokane

Inquisitive squirrel in Manito Park

Iris blooms in Manito Park

Peach and purple iris, Manito Park

More irises in the gardens of Manito Park

Lilies for Eastertide

April 3, 2010

My excursion to the Seattle Asian Art Museum took me to Volunteer Park, so afterwards I walked a short way to the Volunteer Park Conservatory to see what was in bloom.  There were so many colorful and exotic flowers on display, but the lilies especially caught my eye because of their association with Easter.

White lily, Volunteer Park Conservatory

Detail, white lily

Lilies and blue hydrangea

White lily, pure beauty

Anthers and stigma of a white lily