Noted Seattle artist to speak at Western Jan. 29, build temporary installation in Western Gallery

Western Washington University will host acclaimed Seattle artist John Grade in a lecture entitled “From the Elephant Bed to Meridian,” discussing a variety of his recent projects since his 2010 exhibit at the Whatcom Museum, at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, on Jan. 29, in Academic West Room 210.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

In February, Grade (pronounced GRAHD-ay), an assistant, and Western students will re-create Grade’s large scale work Meridian within the Western Gallery. The work, which is composed of rubber, fabric and foam, will be assembled over the course of a week and will be on display from Feb. 24 through March 17.

Grade creates large-scale sculptures that are exhibited in unusual urban contexts, museums, galleries, and outdoors in nature. His projects are designed to change over time and often involve large groups of people to collaboratively build, install and move from one location to another. Grade received his BFA from the Pratt Institute in 1992, and has traveled extensively following his graduation, gaining critical exposure to the cultures and environments that have come to shape his artistic vision.

Grade’s perennial focus is on environmentally related works, often inspired and extracted from microscopic points of view, ranging from monumental (interior and exterior) installations to a more intimate scale. His 65-foot sculpture “Wawona” is permanently installed at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.

Grade was awarded the 2010 Metcalf Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York. He has received an Andy Warhol Foundation Award, two Pollock Krasner Foundation Awards, the 2011 Arlene Schnitzer Prize from the Portland Art Museum and the 2013 Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust, among others. Recent exhibitions include Galerie Ateliers L'H Du Siege in France, Fabrica in the UK, and Cynthia Reeves Gallery in New York. His work has been featured in Art in America, Sculpture, Le Journal Metropole, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Huffington Post, Russian Domus and on NPR’s All Things Considered and Studio 360.

The Western Gallery is in the Fine Arts Complex, centrally located on campus and across from Carver Gym. Gallery hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and the gallery is free and open to the public. The Western Gallery director acts as curator of the university's visual art collections. Primary areas are 19th and 20th century prints and drawings, including the Helen Loggie Archives and the Leese Collection.

In 2010 the gallery received over 175 works in various media by Northwest artists, a gift of Safeco Insurance, a member of the Liberty Mutual Group, and the Washington Art Consortium. Selections from these works will be placed on public view in the main lobbies of the Performing Arts Center. The Chair Collection focuses on this type of 20th century furniture created by international designers. The Western Gallery maintains Western’s Outdoor Sculpture Collection, an international caliber, public art collection which is displayed throughout the Western campus.

For more information, contact Chris Casquilho, Western Washington University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts manager of marketing and special events at 360-650-2829 or