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WWU art exhibit stirs creativity in children

Video: Artist talks about his "Uplift and Slope" exhibit at WWU

Rintaro Hara talks about his installation of the kinetic sculpture "Uplift and Slope" at Western Gallery at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.
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Rintaro Hara talks about his installation of the kinetic sculpture "Uplift and Slope" at Western Gallery at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.

Western Gallery’s new director is making good on a pledge to bring art to more diverse audiences — especially children and youth — with the new exhibit “How Space Turns,” opening this weekend.

Hafthor Yngvason thinks children will be captivated by such vibrant installations as “Parallel Universes” by Ingibjorg Jonsdottir, and “Uplift and Slope” by Rintaro Hara.

“This exhibit was in both Iceland and Germany, and that was the experience, that parents had to drag their kids out of it,” Yngvason said.

Jonsdottir also curated the exhibition, which runs through May 12 at the Western Washington University gallery. It features the work of six artists from around the world.

“Uplift and Slope” features dozens of white spheres moving along thin wires that give the illusion that they are traveling through midair. Hara said viewers are mesmerized by the spheres and their shadows, comparing the experience to listening to music. “Parallel Universes” is constructed of 27,000 bobbins wound with threads that reflect light or glow in the dark.

This exhibit was in both Iceland and Germany, and that was the experience, that parents had to drag their kids out of it.

Hafthor Yngvason, director of the Western Gallery at WWU

“Most of the works extend gently into the space, inviting the viewer into their orbits,” Jonsdottir writes in promotional material. “It is as if these intricately interwoven organisms interact with each other and the audience. Rhythm is a key element ... the works’ organic forms suggest biological structures.”

There’s a special event open to the public for “How Space Turns” from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at Western Gallery near the center of campus. Admission to the gallery is free.

Parking will be free after 4:30 p.m. Friday in campus lot 17G, which is on East College Drive near the gallery. Parking will be free in the C lots of south campus after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends. Lot 6V, along North Garden Street below Viking Union, is $2 per hour; $1 hourly after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends.

Whatcom Transportation Authority buses serve the campus with a variety of routes.

“We really like to encourage families to come,” Yngvason said. “(Western Galleries) is not just for the students; it’s for the community.”

Robert Mittendorf: 360-715-2805, rmittendorf@bhamherald.com, @bhamMitty.

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