Datebook: Lip Service

Local sculptor John Grade brings miles of mouths to Bellevue Arts Museum

Category: Arts + Events Articles


The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the mouth says a lot about a person, too. Nowhere is this more evident than in Seattle sculptor John Grade’s new piece, “Preserve,” at the Bellevue Arts Museum. It’s part of the 40-piece group show ÜberPortrait, which explores and explodes the artistic notion of how to capture a person’s essence in a permanent form (and also contains work by local sculptor Dan Webb and photographer/video artist Margot Quan Knight). At more than 7 feet tall, this haunt-your-dreams piece is made entirely of rubber, cast from mouths of actual people (an accompanying map identifies whom the lips belong to). Although Grade is known primarily for works made from organic materials and installed in natural landscapes, this striking departure speaks volumes about his boundless creativity. $7–$9. Times vary. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way NE; 425.519.0770;