Celebrations by Morse Clary, sculptor, Tri Cities
March 4– May 15, 2017

The San Juan Islands Museum of Art is excited to announce an exhibition by Northwest artist Morse Clary.  He is a gifted sculptor who sees each of his elegant ‘books’ as a study of sculptural metaphor and the visual and tactile qualities of wood, thus creating a narrative.   The seventy-book sculptures created from a myriad of wood are embellished with natural objects.  Clary’s work is evidence of the precise, meditative caring he possesses as he carves and fits each element into place.   His books are outside of tradition or what is expected; therefore, each book must be read differently.

In this exhibition of Clary’s life work, he presents a fascinating array of woods, fiber, jewels, bones, stems, lichen, and various materials from the natural environment, which have informed and inspired him.  His work is saturated with the love of nature and its great mysteries, and the plethora of beautiful solutions to problems of form, color, texture, and line used to convey the visual and tactile elements which are the language of the visual arts.


“There is occasionally a musical reference as I often hear composition as a way of seeing and feeling my way to it,” says Clary.  He considers each work a celebration of something.

A professional artist for over forty years, Morse spent thirty-two years as a college art educator in Nebraska, Ohio, Idaho, and Washington.  He is Faculty Emeritus at Columbia Basin College.  Clary has multiple publications and exhibitions to his credit as well as guest teaching opportunities and public works of art.