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‘Night Blooming’ featured at Bellevue Arts Museum

nightblooming-iconA unique wooden sculpture made by Washington State University students is being featured this winter at the Bellevue Arts Museum. The large-scale art installation, entitled Night Blooming, is part of the art museum’s Knock on Wood exhibition, and is featured in the museum’s third-floor exterior courtyard.

Taiji Miyasaka, associate professor of architecture in the WSU School of Design and Construction, will be a panelist at an upcoming day-long symposium on the exhibit, set for Jan. 31.

The Night Blooming 'dome'
The Night Blooming ‘dome’

Made from salvaged timber, the sculpture was designed by Miyasaka and David Drake, fabrication labs manager in the School of Design and Construction, and built by graduate and undergraduate architecture and interior design students in Architecture 490.

During the first part of the 20th century, grain elevators around the Palouse region were often made of timber from old-growth tamarack and Douglas fir. Today, the unique materials are valued for their color and tight grains, and are often reused for flooring and molding. Miyasaka, Drake and their students used left-over scraps from the salvage operations to build a 10-foot wide dome.

From the outside, the piece looks like an over-sized wasp nest. As one enters the dark interior, shafts of light enter through wedge-shaped voids and create a unique kaleidoscope in the 13-foot high space.

The Night Blooming interior

The project was constructed in the college’s new fabrication laboratory on WSU’s Pullman campus. It was then disassembled into more than 50 pieces and transported to Bellevue earlier this fall for reassembly in the museum. Most of the students involved in the project traveled to Bellevue to work on the two-day installation.

The wood for the project was donated by Lenard Mathias at LM Services Corporation in Garfield, WA and Jeffery Williams in Genesee, ID.

“Without the generous support of these local entrepreneurs, the project would not have been possible,’’ says Miyasaka.

For more information about the upcoming symposium and to register:

Taiji Miyasaka, associate professor, School of Design and Construction, 509-335-8091,

Tina Hilding, communications coordinator, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, 509-335-5095,


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