Trip – Washington, March & April

Photo © Heritage Distilling Company

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Long known for its galleries, studios and resident artists, Bainbridge Island has never been a stranger to fine art. But to visit a museum with permanent and traveling exhibits, islanders had to hop on the ferry to Seattle or head to other large communities who’d taken the leap to build and sustain an art museum.

A decade ago, island artists and community leaders took the first step in gaining momentum for their own grand leap. That’s when planning for Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) began. Fast forward to 2013. BIMA, housed in a contemporary showpiece of a building at the entrance to downtown, opened its doors. Every initiative was taken to ensure an energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable building, a special challenge when it comes to climate control to protect works of art.

The collection and exhibits are dedicated to contemporary local and regional art. In the community gallery, you are invited to join The Conversation of Art, an interactive exhibit asking you for answers to why art matters, what art can teach us, who is your art hero and more—all thought-provoking questions designed to deepen your museum experience. Curated exhibits showcase the works of established and emerging Northwest artists.

Visit BIMA and explore the building and the art, and while you’re there, enjoy the rest of downtown Bainbridge Island. It’s a beautiful 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. For more information about BIMA, go online at biartmuseum.org. For more about visiting downtown Bainbridge Island, go to bainbridgedowntown.org.

Joan Miró Exhibit, Seattle Art Museum

Seattle Art Museum visitors will have a rare opportunity to experience one of the largest collections of Joan Miró works to visit the U.S. The exhibition is comprised of over 50 pieces dating between 1963 to 1983.

Miró was born in Barcelona and was a contemporary of Pablo Picasso. His early art held similarities to many of the Cubists’ work. However, his main body of work is considered to be surrealist, even though the artist defied categorization. His work holds significant influence over American abstract expressionists, and he received the Gold Medal of Fine Arts from King Juan Carlos of Spain in 1980.

The artist developed his unique surrealist style as an escape from conventional painting methods. Throughout his life, Miró’s work always occupied the cutting edge of contemporary art, and in interviews he even expressed his dreams of subverting established methods of art. Today, Miró’s work sells for as high as $26 million.
Miró not only painted, but also sculpted in his later years.

Seattle’s Hotel Max offers a Maximum Miró package through May 26, including lodging, museum tickets and Miró-inspired cocktails at Miller’s Guild (hotelmaxseattle.com/special-offers/).

The Seattle Art Museum exhibit runs until May 25. For more information on the Seattle Art Museum, visit seattleartmuseum.org. To learn more about visiting Seattle, go to visitseattle.org.

Heritage Distilling Company, Gig Harbor

In postcard-perfect Gig Harbor, Justin and Jennifer Stiefel, owners of Heritage Distilling Company, are creating top-shelf spirits inspired by the past. Their extensive product lineup dramatically reflects a commitment to both authenticity and ingenuity. Every one of their spirits tells a story of the couple’s family history or our collective heritage, and not just metaphorically, but often in the nuts-and-bolts ingredients, sourcing and recipes they use.

Take, for example, Heritage Distilling Company’s Commander’s Rye Whiskey, George Washington’s actual 1797 recipe. This award-winning unaged whiskey gives the taster’s palate the first-hand experience of what a whiskey from Colonial America was like. Ingredients are sourced from small, local family farms just as they were in 1797. The absence of aging in a wooden cask leaves the spirits in a pure state in both flavor and color.

In Heritage Distilling Company’s warm, cask-lined tasting room, the personal narratives are as important as the products. The Stiefels invite their customers to draw on their own personal stories to age spirits in small casks in a program called “Cask Club,” and actually learn to hand craft their own spirits in a program called “My Batch.”
To visit the tasting room or purchase Heritage Distilling Company’s products, visit heritagedistilling.com. For more information about visiting Gig Harbor, go to gigharborguide.com.

Teatro ZinZanni, Seattle

Drawing top performers from across the world, Teatro ZinZanni offers an intimate view of acrobatics normally seen from across the expanse of a theater.

Both the Seattle and San Francisco shows take place in massive tents called “Spiegeltents.” The tents have a small center performance area circled by dining tables for guests. The show not only features acrobatics, contortionists, comedians, tap dancers, trapeze artists and singers, but a five course meal as well.

Created in 1910 by craftsman Willem Klessens and consisting of over 4,000 different parts, these tents stand at 29 feet with a diameter of 65 feet. Despite its massive scale, two people could assemble the entire tent in a day with no tools. About 100 of these tents still exist; the Seattle ZinZanni tent, Moulin Rouge, is one of the oldest and is in the possession of Willam Klessen’s grandson, Willy Klessen.

Only a fraction of the Moulin Rouge is original. In WWII, the Nazis destroyed most of the tent in response to resistance fighters destroying a bridge of strategic importance. The San Francisco tent survived WWII mostly unscathed by hiding underground.
The Teatro’s newest show, On the Air, runs until June 1st. Kevin Kent from the Teatro’s debut show in 1998 will be performing. For more information on Teatro ZinZanni, consult: zinzanni.com/seattle. For information about a visit to Seattle, go to visitseattle.org.