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Fred Hutch and Cornish celebrate ninth annual art loan partnership

September 26, 2013

By Mary Hazen, with photos by Bo Jungmayer

In 2005, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Cornish College of the Arts forged a partnership that has become a core component of Fred Hutch’s culture.

Each year, the walls and common areas of Fred Hutch’s Robert M. Arnold Building become a blank slate for a new exhibit of paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures on loan from Cornish Art Department graduates.

The collaboration, brainchild of Cornish art professor Bonnie Biggs and former Fred Hutch employee Scott Sutherland, a member of the Public Health Science’s Art Task Force, was primarily initiated to give young emerging artists a public forum for their work. It also complements Fred Hutch’s permanent collection of donated art, which includes works by August Rodin, Dale Chihuly and Morris Graves.

Bonnie Biggs and Georgia Green

Cornish art professor Bonnie Biggs and PHS Art Task Force Chair Georgia Green

“Although Fred Hutch and Cornish College have very different missions, they share common values, such as exploring new directions, encouraging creativity and making the world a better place, whether through lifesaving science or life-affirming art,” said Georgia Green, chair of the PHS Art Task Force.

This year, 56 pieces of art from 35 Cornish seniors adorn the interior of the Arnold Building.

Green and her fellow PHS Art Task Force members chose the art from a display of select works from the seniors’ thesis projects. These pieces of art were officially unveiled at a reception in the building’s atrium on Sept. 20 and will remain on exhibit for a year.

The premier place for emerging art in the Pacific Northwest

Exhibition coordinator, Biggs, said that the annual exhibition at Fred Hutch is very unique. “It is the premier place for emerging art in the Pacific Northwest – there are few places in the area that have an exhibition like this.”

An uncommon characteristic of the exhibition is that it is on display for a year, a long time compared to most other exhibitions.

"Conversation Piece" by Karina Nyquist

“Conversation Piece” by Karina Nyquist is displayed in the atrium of the Arnold Building.

‘A win-win, truly visionary partnership’

The art invites visitors and Fred Hutch employees alike to preview next-generation Pacific Northwest art and has also helped forge a strong relationship between the two institutions.

“This is a win-win, truly visionary partnership,” said Cornish President Dr. Nancy Uscher at this year’s opening reception.

“Not only has the fresh, energetic artwork created by the young artists enhanced our physical work space, we have also benefited from the wonderful relationships that have developed between Cornish faculty and graduates and Hutchinson Center faculty and staff,” Green said.

‘A hidden gem’

The exhibition is truly “a hidden gem” in South Lake Union, Biggs said, because many people outside of Fred Hutch don’t even know it’s here.

Although parts of the exhibition are only accessible to Fred Hutch employees, the majority of the works are displayed in the building’s central atrium, elevator lobbies and cafeteria, which are open to the public during normal business hours.

Playing with "Conversation Piece"

Exhibition managers and Cornish graduates play Karina Nyquist’s project, “Conversation Piece.”

“We take a lot of pride in this show,” Biggs said.

Next year, the Cornish Loan Exhibition Partnership will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Biggs said they are already discussing plans to commemorate the special anniversary; specifics are still in the works.

Artwork available for purchase
Pieces from this year’s exhibit will be available for purchase when the exhibit ends next summer.

For more information or to view the entire exhibit online, please visit Cornish at the Hutch 2013. For purchase information, please email Biggs at bbiggs@cornish.edu.

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