Today on The 425 Show I had the honor of chatting with art experts Ryan James, owner of Ryan J. Fine Arts in Kirkland, and Ben Heywood, The Executive Director and Chief Curator for the Bellevue Arts Museum. Both providing meaningful exhibits, and experiences to their community through their love of art.

Ryan’s involvement in the community goes above and beyond being a local gallery owner. Seven years ago Ryan opened a contemporary gallery, featuring over 40 Washington artists. Since then his gallery has transformed into a more intimate setting, featuring 15 local artists from young emerging talents, with periodic shows that feature contemporary artists from across the nation. You can attend his gallery shows, four times a year including this May featuring artist Jara Mohlman, and Steven Edwards. For a full list of their upcoming events you can visit their Facebook page.

The Bellevue Art Museum was originally founded because of the overwhelming turn out from the annual Bellevue Arts Fair, one of the largest arts and crafts festival in the Northwest. With over 30,000 square feet to display art, Ben helps BAM put together some of the most exciting exhibits on the Eastside. With 8 – 10 exhibitions a year, they ensure every time you come in you’ll see something new. One of their April exhibitions: “School, The Salmon Project” features a life-size school of several hundred mirrored salmon, from Artist Joseph Rossano.

Admission is free for the first floor, which is worth the trip alone! If you’re looking to hold your own special event, this is a stunning location to consider. To see pricing on their 2nd and 3rd floor exhibits and a full list of their upcoming events visit their website.

Ryan and Ben both have a large footprint in the growing arts community on the Eastside. This year they’ve teamed up, as Ryan will help Co-Chair to pick some of the top artists for Bellevue Art Museum’s annual fundraising gala, An Artful Evening June 29th. A full evening of dinner, cocktails, live and silent auctions, fabulous paintings, sculptures, and jewelry.

The perfect opportunity to bring home works by artists and makers previously featured in BAM exhibitions, and enjoy the first chance to bid on works from BAM ARTSfair artists in the silent auction.

For more information on Ryan’s gallery, or to attend one of his receptions check out his website. Looking for a fun day in Bellevue stop by the Bellevue Art Museum, and attend this years Bellevue Arts Fair, the last weekend in July. Follow BAM on Facebook to see upcoming exhibits and events.