BIMA: The Blooming of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

image1The places we plant our dreams, care, and love can truly take on a life of their own. After so much energy and time has been poured into their existence, we can almost sense their breath as they exist and thrive beyond our immediate control. In this way, the ,Bainbridge Island Museum of Art shines from the nurture of its caretakers. The founder, Cynthia Sears, planted the seed of the idea for this museum, and, following this act, neighbors, donors, members, volunteers, board, and staff watered this concept until it took root, sprouted, and grew upwards in the direction of those who gave it life. Like any young, small-but-mighty being, each stage of growth has brought about new avenues of self-discovery.

Each time the BIMA welcomes a new volunteer, artist, staff, or board member, a jolt of energy springs forth and creates new branches in its evolution. Most recently, changes brought on by COVID-19 spurred a reconfiguration of their programming, and in doing so, they uncovered the true scope of their reach. From a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest, they engage with people across the globe. The Black Lives Matter movement ignited a refocusing of their intentionality and impact in all aspects of their business, from the art on the walls to the way they engage with guests.


Through their museum curators, BIMA fosters symbiotic relationship grounded in the immediate Puget Sound region and contemporary happenings. They connect with artists, galleries, and collectors to build each exhibition, cultivating about eighteen shows per year. As artists benefit from having their work in a museum, the museum also flourishes from such artists’ direct involvement.

Their latest blossoming exhibitions were unveiled the first Friday of September and can be enjoyed until December 31. Gaze upon their FIBER 2020 group exhibition, Peregrine O’Gormley’s astounding sculptural work, a representation of the work by Bainbridge Island Studio Tour artists, and the colorful patterned work by Bainbridge Island-raised Anna Teiche. Beyond their exhibitions, they’re just a few weeks out from their biggest fundraiser of the year, their BID & BUY for BIMA, which is an online auction and collectors marketplace. Lastly, October will mark their fourth annual Within/Earshot Jazz Festival, which will be completely virtual and free to all thanks to the generosity of their sponsors.

As you enter into their garden of artwork and visions manifested, those at the BIMA hope to provide a welcoming experience that encourages insight, knowledge, and a shared understanding of yourself as an individual and a community. Visit the museum to bask in the power of planting creativity, and witness how such ripple effects can eternalize inward and outward growth.

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