Clay Throwdown!

BAM's first Biennial show features some 30 Northwest artists working in clay, but the medium and its presentation get stretched pretty far. Yuki Nakamura uses lasers (!) to bathe her ceramic light bulbs in sections of color. The sketches for Frank Boyden's "Uncle Sulky" character (also seen in clay figurines) could form a wonderful children's book. Charles Krafft renders Charles Manson, Amy Winehouse, and a few evil dictators in blue-and-white Delft china hot-water bottles. There are even a few actual plates and serving sets that wouldn't look out of place in your kitchen. Pushing boundaries the farthest is Mike Simi's video I Drink Alone, in which he motors around a suburb, chugging tall boys of Busch Lite in a double mug glazed party with the ashes of his dead father. From the car stereo, the Beach Boys keen the "Sloop John B." It's the eeriest, most interesting work in a large, worthwhile exhibit. BRIAN MILLER

Saturdays, Sundays, 12-5 p.m.; Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Starts: Aug. 28. Continues through Jan. 16, 2010

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