Artwork donated to Bellevue on display at City Hall
Artwork by Gerard Tsutakawa generously donated to the City of Bellevue by Jerry and Charlene Lee
The City of Bellevue is honored to receive a donation of artwork from Northwest philanthropists Jerry and Charlene Lee. The gift is a premier work of art by renowned artist Gerard Tsutakawa and is now on display at Bellevue City Hall.
The Lees have a long history of community giving and were recognized as 2015 Outstanding Philanthropists by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Advancement, Northwest Washington. They hope this donation will inspire others to donate major works of art for the enjoyment of our city residents.
The bronze artwork, titled “Josho #5”, was created in 2003 and is nearly eight feet tall. Tsutakawa is a Northwestern artist whose works are exhibited around the world, but he is perhaps best known locally for his iconic 1999 “MITT” sculpture at Seattle Mariners Stadium.
An artist statement on Tsutakawa’s work reads: “Gerard Tsutakawa’s sculpture designs reflect a confluence of Pacific cultures and traditions. Being raised in Japanese heritage as well as the aesthetics of other cultures around the Pacific Ocean inspired his design sensibility. Growing up in the beautiful natural surroundings of the Pacific Northwest helped develop a rich humanistic style in her creative process.
The Josho sculpture has had several key locations adding to its history, history and notoriety. Loaned by the artist several years after its creation, the work was exhibited in Washington DC at the office of Secretary of Commerce (and former Washington Governor) Gary Locke as part of an exhibition of Northwest artists. He then traveled to Beijing when Locke was appointed Ambassador to China and was installed at the Ambassador’s Residence. Upon Locke’s return to the United States, Mr. Lee purchased Mr. Tsutakawa’s artwork, and it has since been part of the collection at MG2’s Seattle headquarters.
The artwork is currently on display on the first floor of Bellevue City Hall and will eventually be permanently installed along the Grand Connection.
The Town of Bellevue would like to sincerely thank Jerry and Charlene Lee for their gift to the people of our town, which will be appreciated for generations.
About the Bellevue Arts Program
The City of Bellevue seeks to be a vital platform for cultural exchange and creative inspiration, turning to living artists to enrich the collective experience of Bellevue’s public places through standing commissions and a collection growing number of mobile works of art funded by the public art program.
A segment of the collection is devoted to works of art that raise the discourse on defining aspects of Bellevue civic life, exploring the diverse identities of our residents, converging cultures, international connections, technological currents and interaction. between nature and the urban experience that make up the environment of Bellevue. unique.
The Bellevue Art Collection helps document the dynamic moments and complexities of Bellevue’s cultural life and is an important resource for future generations. More information at www.bellevuewa.gov/arts.