Arts and Entertainment

Ceramic artist Dirk Staschke honored as part of BAM Biennial

Dirk Staschke
Dirk Staschke's 'My Beautiful Nothing'
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Ceramic artist Dirk Staschke has received the John & Joyce Price Award of Excellence as part of the BAM Biennial.

The award, selected by the curatorial staff of the museum, comes with a $5,000 cash prize and the opportunity of a future solo exhibition at BAM.

"The BAM Biennial celebrates the extraordinary work of artists and craftsmen working and living in the Northwest," said Stefano Catalani, Director of Curatorial Affairs/Artistic Director of Bellevue Arts Museum.

The first edition of the BAM Biennial focuses on one of the oldest and most versatile media known to man: clay. Staschke is one of over 30 artists participating in the BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown! which will be on view at BAM though January 16, 2011. He lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Staschki has taught at many universities, including Emily Carr, Alfred University and New York University. Staschke’s work resides in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; and Icheon Museum, World Ceramic Center in Gwango-dong, South Korea.

"Dirk Staschke's 'My Beautiful Nothing' is as striking as it is perturbing," Catalani notes. "Masterly crafted and visually arresting, the sculpture commands the space with its cascading presence. In its fleshy appearance the piece is a contemporary memento constructed around the polarities of bounty and decay, fullness and emptiness, movement and stillness. Reaching out to a scale bigger and more complex than previous works, Staschke pushed himself to create something unique in conversation with the grand architecture of the museum."

The second award in conjunction with the BAM Biennial is the Samuel & Patricia Smith People's Choice Award. Between now and October 27, museum visitors have an opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite artist. The award, which is recognized with a $5,000 cash prize, will be announced at the October 28 Members' Reception.

BAM Biennial is a juried exhibition that will occur every two years starting in 2010. It brings attention and exposure to the work of contemporary artists and craftsmen in the Pacific Northwest.

For each edition, the museum designates a new focus, exploring a specific medium, technique, process or theme in art, craft and design, the museum’s artistic focal point.

Submissions to the 2010 edition were reviewed by a panel of four jurors comprised of Bif Brigman, collector (Seattle); Stefano Catalani, Director of Curatorial Affairs/Artistic Director, Bellevue Arts Museum; Akio Takamori, artist and professor of ceramics, University of Washington; and Namita Wiggers, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, Ore.).

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