About Western Bridge
Western Bridge operated from 2004 to 2012 as a nonprofit contemporary exhibition space, founded by the Seattle collectors Bill and Ruth True. The True Collection contains works in video, photography, installation, and other media by an international roster of mid-career and emerging artists. Works from the collection have been exhibited in major museums in North America and Europe. Western Bridge originated from a desire to keep more of the collection on view here in Seattle.
Operating out of a renovated 10,000 square foot warehouse in Seattle’s SoDo industrial district, Western Bridge presented the current state of artmaking through thematic group shows drawn from the True Collection, focused exhibitions on contemporary artists, and newly commissioned works.
Since Western Bridge’s closure, the collection remains active in commissions and installations throughout the city, and loans and gifts of works to major museums in Seattle and elsewhere in the US.
Western Bridge’s warehouse home was built in the mid-1950s for a construction company of the same name. The name’s reuse preserved something of the history of the site while indicating the role Western Bridge sought to play — as a connector between private collecting and public exhibition, and between Seattle and the international contemporary art world.
The renovation was designed by Roy McMakin/Domestic Architecture. McMakin’s design overlaid a symbol of domesticity — the double-hung house window — onto the entry of a concrete warehouse, pointing to Western Bridge’s dual status as a public home for a private collection. Inside, the building wove private and public spaces in an interlocking composition, offering galleries in a range of scales to suit art in various media.
Western Bridge was directed by Eric Fredericksen, with collections and installation management by Matthew Cox, and programming support by Anne Fenton. Assistants and interns included Heide Hinrichs, Jessica Powers, and Carrie E.A. Scott.
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