Have you ever stumbled upon a cultural gem while traveling? It’s such a great feeling of discovery and often, some of the best vacation experiences happen without planning.

We drove from my in-laws in Sequim to Bainbridge Island, Washington this summer, to catch the ferry to Seattle. We have done this trip a number of times, and although Bainbridge Island is adorable and full of lovely shops and art galleries, we’ve never stopped, except to have lunch or grab some food at the chic local market.

This time, we had planned a lunch downtown, but were nervous about leaving our car too far out of sight, packed to the gills with travel gear. As we drove down the main drag, clogged with tourists, we saw a new eco-building with a Grand Opening sign saying it was the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. After much protest from my two boys and with the promise of a Mexican meal after, we decided to check it out. Brand spankin’ new, the pristine green building in itself had appeal with its recycled materials, solar power, denim insulation, Zero Waste, living wall and environmentally friendly carpets and paint. It was FREE, thanks to sponsorships, memberships, and donations!

The open, airy building sits across from the Seattle/Bainbridge ferry terminal. It houses a tremendously quirky collection and quickly got us all interested. The collection was refreshing because of its focus on art and crafts created by the many artists in the area, and particularly inviting given the splendor and artistic appeal of the region. When we visited, the collection included wire sea creatures and the whimsical work of Karen Hackenberg.

She had a number of sculptures made of matchsticks; the one pictured here is called “American Pie.” The museum is contained and you can get a real sense of the collection in less than an hour, handy if you happen to be awaiting the next ferry. The plan is for 12-16 shows a year, and BIMA, as it is called, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, and as I said, it’s free!

Filed Under Culture, Museum, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Washington


2 Responses to “Be Mine BIMA — Bainbridge Island Museum of Art”

  1. Karen Hackenberg on September 19th, 2013 2:09 am

    Thanks for mentioning my matchstick sculptures, esp. “American Pie”, Darya! BIMA is a really wonderful new place to see the art of our area.

  2. Darya Mead on November 12th, 2013 6:12 pm

    Karen, I’m honored that you saw this post–we loved your work and the fabulous museum. Please let me know if you ever have a show in the Bay Area!!

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