Faculty Masterpieces – Bellevue College Art Exhibit

The Annual Bellevue College Art Faculty Exhibition runs from September 28 to October 22. The gallery is located on the second floor of D building (above the library) in room 271. Its doors are open to anyone who has an interest in viewing the fantastic works of art on display.

  The exhibit showcases a variety of artwork created by BC fine arts staff members—past and present. Types of artwork include: photography, acrylic and oil paintings, charcoal on paper, ceramic sculptures and enormous artwork on wood paneling.

A Piece of Robert Purser's work on display.
A Piece of Robert Purser's work on display.

  This year in particular is dedicated to the late Robert Purser, who played a prominent role in establishing the exhibit itself. In the gallery, you can find six of his works, which are various mixed media displays, integrating countless pieces of materials to create a larger whole. But this description doesn’t begin to accurately depict his artwork or the impression it will leave after you’ve seen it.

 I also got the chance to speak with Eric Tomberlin, who created a piece I was quite fond of, titled “Mineral Wealth.” This large inkjet print is simultaneously photorealistic and surreal, boasting a color palette and textures unlike those you’re likely to see in a regular photo or print.

 “I took the photo in Bisbee, Arizona. It’s a coalmine; the telephone pole near the center gives you an idea of the scale, it’s huge. I took the photo and scanned it. The rest was done on my computer, which took roughly twenty hours of editing time,” said Tomberlin. It shows the level of detail is quite extraordinary.

 Another artist, John Wesley, took the time to speak about his two photos on display.

 “I had three days or so in Riverside, California where I could shoot whatever I wanted. I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I went out to take the photos. You just have to find something. I want people to be okay with standing there, looking at a photo for a long time until they get something from it—without clues like the title to help them understand it,” said Wesley.

 Both artists seemed to prefer an air of mystery around their artwork— vagueness on the viewer’s behalf that allows for a multitude of different responses and reactions.

 “As the artist, it’s difficult to separate myself from the art, so it’s interesting to see what an outsider’s perspective is,” said Wesley.

 The gallery is open from Monday to Thursday, and sometimes Saturdays.