The Curator's Eye

Warming Up: Jared Rue-Painter

16th Street, oil on panel, 48 x 36 inches; photo by Richard Nicol


When Kemper Development builds a mall or a residential tower, they are sometimes simultaneously building both a commercial hub and a potential home for the work of local artists. The real estate giant — known far and wide for its development of Bellevue Place, Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square — is known locally as a family-owned company that supports local arts. It has roots with the Bellevue Arts Fair and Bellevue Arts Museum and is a supporter of the anticipated Performing Arts Center Eastside (PACE).

Behind Kemper’s behemoth projects is architect Dan Meyers, who selected two of Northwest native Jared Rue’s pieces (not pictured) to hang in the Westin Bellevue. “Part of my job,” says Meyers, “is to help cultivate the idea that downtown Bellevue is a great place for art.”

Meyers says that when interior designer Susan Marinello first introduced him to Rue’s work, he immediately felt it would help “warm up” the übermodern hotel’s cool concrete and stone look. A native Washingtonian, Meyers also values the familiarity of Rue’s subjects: “The paintings give the viewer a feeling of what makes a Northwest landscape unique,” he says. “The images convey the emotions of an impressionistic, moist Northwest forest with filtered light. You feel as if you could walk right into the images.”

According to Meyers, none of the art collections inside Kemper buildings are static: in addition to Rue’s oil paintings, keep an eye out for a massive installation of Dale Chihuly paintings (yes, paintings), coming soon. — Bond Huberman


To see more of Rue’s work, visit woodsidebrasethgallery.com.

See more in the December 2009 issue   →