Arts and Entertainment

Bellevue Arts Museum names BAM Biennial award winner

Nathan Craven has been named the winner of the inaugural BAM Biennial Samuel & Patricia Smith People's Choice Award.

The race for the $5,000 award began on Aug. 27. During the following two months, museum visitors had the opportunity to personally pick their favorite BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown! artist. Over 30 artists participated in an extensive range of contemporary ceramic works.

More than 2,000 visitors cast their votes.

Originally from Ogden, UT, Craven ventured into ceramics as a junior in high school in order to make up credits after flunking out of calculus. He eventually earned his BFA in ceramics from Weber State University (2005) and his MFA in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design (2008).

Craven recently finished a residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, and is now a resident at the Roswell Artist in Residence program in Roswell, NM.

Included in the BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown exhibition is his playful, large-scale wall installation, Kosmeo Wall. Comprised of over 17,000 individual ceramic pieces, the artist specifically created the piece for BAM's landmark exhibition and personally oversaw the elaborate installation process at the Museum.

BAM Biennial is a juried exhibition that occurs 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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