Suyama Space


Congrats to Beth Sellars, this year's recipient of the Anne Focke Leadership Award

Congrats to Beth Sellars, this year's recipient of the Anne Focke Leadership Award

Congratulations to Suyama Space curator Beth Sellars, whom is this year’s recipient of the 2017 Anne Focke Leadership Award.

“The biennial Anne Focke Arts Leadership Award is offered by the School of Art + Art History + Design at the University of Washington to recognize individuals who pave the way for art, art history, and design to enliven and strengthen the community through their visionary and active leadership.

The School is pleased to present the 2017 Anne Focke Arts Leadership Award to Beth Sellars. Curator, artist, museum leader, teacher, and public art manager, Sellars embodies the power of arts leadership.

Sellars began her curatorial career as the Assistant Director of the Boise Art Museum in 1975 after holding various volunteer leadership roles for the museum, working as a fundraiser for the arts, and exhibiting as a practicing artist for a number of years. As her appointment at the museum morphed into a curatorial role, Sellars was prompted to gain a master’s degree in art history; during her time at the University of Idaho she worked extensively within the university gallery setting directing, teaching, and organizing novel programs. Sellars took on the curator position at the Cheney Cowles State Museum in Spokane, Washington, in 1982, creating more than 120 exhibitions of regional, national, and international solo and group artists.

Sellars moved to Seattle in 1996 and began work as a curator and collections manager of the City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection of over 3,000 artworks. She became a curatorial fixture of the region, organizing numerous independent exhibitions at the Center on Contemporary Art, Bumbershoot, Seafirst Gallery, Washington State Convention & Trade Center, PICA (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art), Henry Art Gallery, Open Satellite, and for a number of exhibitions of contemporary art, including most recently in 2016, Out of Sight.

What Beth Sellars may be best known for is Suyama Space, a gallery co-founded with George Suyama in 1998. Sellars organized 55 site-specific, 3-month long installations over 19 years with an unerring commitment to presenting unique, challenging, and tenacious works by national and international artists. Much in the way that award namesake Anne Focke has sought to fill artistic vacuum with creatively designed solutions, so too has the curatorial thoughtfulness and organizational might of Sellars’ work.

A celebratory dinner honoring Beth Sellars and supporting the School takes place in April. Our guest speaker this year is alum Jenny Sabin (BA/BFA 1998), an artist, theorist, and scholar pushing the boundaries of architecture and science.” - University of Washington

Also in the news, an article by T.s. Flock in Vanguard entitled “INCREMENTAL HEROISM: Beth Sellars Receives the 2017 Anne Fock Leadership Award”