Vacant supermarket becomes modern “cathedral of art” in Edmonds, Washington

Curved glulam beams at Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds, Washington rise up to 26 feet over the gallery floor, creating a huge barrel vault.

It’s a modern cathedral,” said Lindsey Echelbarger, the museum’s founder and president. “It’s really graceful, soaring lines that these huge curved beams create.

That’s high praise for a former supermarket built in the 1960s.

The project won the Art + Architecture Award in Historic Seattle‘s eighth annual Preservation Awards.

Inside the Cascadia Art Museum, the high ceilings of the Safeway store create expansive space for art, unlike in many small museums that often have low ceilings, he said. The flooring is Douglas fir end-grain blocks, part of the museum’s effort to use Northwest products.

Cascadia Art Museum premiered in September, 2015 as a result of the growing national and international interest in American regional art. It features paintings, prints, photography and sculpture created exclusively by artists active in the Northwest during the mid- 19th through the mid-20th centuries. With few exceptions, this fertile period of our creative history has been largely overlooked and understudied.

The museum employs a series of five galleries; the Gateway Gallery changes yearly and features an overview of artistic activity created within the parameters of our focus. The remaining four galleries are dedicated to changing quarterly exhibitions.

Geographically, it would be difficult to find a more beautiful environment than what the area has to offer. In addition to a reverence for nature, the regions art was informed by a wide variety of cultural influences from the contributions of our substantial indigenous and immigrant population. This has created a unique visual language that is completely distinct from the rest of the country.

Northwest Art is inherently diverse, created by artists with various cultural and social backgrounds. The museum presents their works without hierarchy through groundbreaking exhibitions and publications that define and record the contributions to the local, national and international developments within their chosen mediums.

See full article by Lynn Porter in the Daily Journal of Commerce.

See museum website & photo credit.

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