Museums & Galleries
With several cultural districts throughout Whatcom County, be captivated by fresh ideas and styles of artistic expression while strolling through a local gallery.
Ranked second in the nation for arts businesses per capita, Bellingham and Whatcom County, WA, shine with arts and heritage activities. A combination of nationally touring and locally produced museum exhibits, gallery tours, theater productions, symphony performances, comedy shows, science and history exhibits provide an active and diverse calendar of events throughout the year.
Bellinghamâ€™s downtown Cultural Arts District includes the Whatcom Museumâ€™s state-of-the-art Lightcatcher building and Family Interactive Gallery; Allied Arts of Whatcom County, First Friday Art Walks; the historic Mount Baker Theatre showcasing live performing arts and home to the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra; the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention; Mindport Exhibits; the Bellingham Railway Museum; the Pickford Film Center dedicated to independent films; and the Upfront Theater highlighting live improve comedy shows.
On the south side of Bellingham Bay, the historic Fairhaven District is also home to numerous art galleries featuring pottery, woodworking, glass, and painting, as well as a unique Pharmacy Museum.
One of the Top 10 outdoor sculpture collections in the nation resides at Western Washington University in Bellingham, with 29 pieces located throughout the campus by renown artists such as Bruce Nauman, Tom Otterness, Isamu Noguchi, Alice Aycock, Beverly Pepper, Robert Maki and many others. Bellinghamâ€™s Big Rock Sculpture Garden, a 2.5 acre city park, also features more than 35 permanent works by distinguished international and local artists.
Dozens of visual artists county-wide participate in the Whatcom Artists Studio Tour each October, opening their homes and galleries to visitors.
History comes alive throughout the county at numerous venues including the Peace Arch State Park in Blaine, the Lynden Pioneer Museum, Hovander Park and Pioneer Park in Ferndale, and Semiahmoo Park Maritime Museum. Additional history-centered activities in Bellingham include the Pickett House, the Heritage Flight Museum, Jerns Military History Museum, and the Bellingham International Maritime Museum.
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