John Grade

John Grade

John Grade creates large-scale sculptures that are exhibited in unusual urban contexts, museums, galleries, and in nature. His projects are designed to change over time and often involve large groups of people to collaboratively build, install and move from one location to another. Grade received his BFA from the Pratt Institute in New York in 1992, and has traveled extensively following his graduation, gaining critical exposure to the cultures and environments that have come to shape his artistic vision. Grade’s perennial focus is on environmentally-related works, often inspired and extracted from microscopic points of view, and ranging from monumental (interior and exterior) installations to a more intimate scale. His 65-foot sculpture “Wawona” is permanently installed at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, where it breaks through the floor and ceiling of the building, bridging a view from the water below the building to the sky above. Even larger is his 105-foot reclaimed old-growth cedar sculpture “Middle Fork”, built partially at MadArt then shown at The Smithsonian before finding its permanent home at the Seattle Art Museum.

Middle Fork sculpture by John Grade

Middle Fork, 2014-2015

Plaster, Wood, Waterproof Glue

“Middle Fork” was a large-scale sculpture based on plaster casts taken from a live 140-year-old hemlock tree growing in North Bend, WA. An intricate structure was built around the casts, made from salvaged old-growth cedar bonded with waterproof glue. The sculpture was displayed at MadArt Space through May 8th, 2015, after which it travelled to art fairs and museums, including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. It is currently in the Brotman Forum at the Seattle Art Museum. Its journey will end when it is returned to the foot of the tree from which it was cast, where it will gradually moss over and degrade into the forest floor.

Middle Fork Exhibition

Show gallery