From installations to galleries, the UW offers art in every nook and cranny
by Danielle Palmer-Friedman
Although the University of Washington is known for its research in medicine and science, the university has done quite a bit of art collecting over the years. The UW displays art from celebrated artists as well as current and former students. Here’s a list of some of the must-see art and galleries around campus.
Perhaps one of the most iconic pieces in the UW art collection is “Broken Obelisk” by Barnett Newman on Red Square. This piece is one of three: The other two reside at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Made of corten steel, a material manufactured to rust and weather over time, “Broken Obelisk” is more than 25 feet in height and weighs approximately 6,000 pounds. The sculpture was gifted to the UW in 1971 by Virginia Wright.
Henry Art Gallery
15th Ave. NE and NE 41st St.
The Henry Art Gallery is much bigger than it appears at first glance. The gallery has three floors and three main showrooms, a sculpture court, a cafe, and conference rooms. The focus of the Henry Art Gallery is contemporary modern art, accessible to the general public.
Though exhibits change about every three months, the gallery features a few permanent pieces including “Light Reign” by James Turrell. “Light Reign” is a skyspace, or a suspended structure built for reflection and meditation. The skyspace offers a different experience depending on the day; it has a retractable hydraulic roof that is removed on good-weather days.
Upcoming 2019 exhibits include Beverly Semmes: Six Silvers (June 22-Oct. 13) which is a display of Semmes’ large-scale dress work.
Large bags, umbrellas, and food or drink are not allowed, however, there is a complimentary locker system set up in the lobby. Photography is permitted in certain exhibits but prohibited in others. No flash photography or video recording is permitted; only personal photography.
George Washington Statue
Between the Henry Art Gallery and Red Square
This prominent statue is located at the campus entrance from West Campus between the Henry Art Gallery and Red Square. In 1909, the Daughters of the American Revolution raised $6,000 to commission this statue from Lorado Taft and was first displayed as part of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in 1909.
Jacob Lawrence Gallery
Jacob Lawrence Gallery, or “The Jake,” is the place to experience the work of up-and-coming artists and designers studying at the UW. The Jake features work from current students, including those receiving bachelor’s degrees in design and fine art. The Jake is free to visit and open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Most exhibits feature contemporary art and use various mediums including film, audio, and photography.
Mary Gates Hall
The second floor of Mary Gates Hall, located between Johnson Hall and the Suzzallo and Allen Libraries, features various paintings gifted from prior art students. The paintings range from the abstract to the meticulously real. Some particularly stunning pieces include various oil-on-canvas paintings such as Dwight Jonsson’s “Untitled” and Christopher Roberts’ “Untitled.” Both are vivid, oversized paintings that play with themes of light and color.
The building is open during the academic year Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. In the summer, Mary Gates is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and is closed on weekends.
Department of Forensic Morphology Annex
Located next to William H. Gates Hall on Parrington Lawn, “Department of Forensic Morphology Annex” is a striking metallic structure amid the surrounding greenery. The piece resembles a space-tent or a small planetarium. The sculpture was commissioned from artist Cris Bruch in 2004 by the
UW’s Art in Public Places Program.