Museums & Galleries

National-calibur arts, local history and electrifying science are can be experienced at numerous museums and galleries throughout Bellingham and Whatcom County. For a full list of venues and contact info, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Bellingham – Cultural Arts District

Whatcom Museum

The LEED Silver Certified Lightcatcher Building (pictured above) is part of the Whatcom Museum’s 3-building campus and a key aspect of the Cultural Arts District in Bellingham. Since 1941, the Whatcom Museum has been a steadfast recorder of the region’s past, and as a Smithsonian affiliate it is an instrumental thought-leader of the community’s present. Guests of all ages enjoy the Museum’s rotating art exhibitions and permanent cultural heritage displays, as well as its Family Interactive Gallery for ages 2 – 8.

Read more: Art, Nature, History and Fun at Whatcom Museum in Bellingham.

Watch:

The history and culture of Northwest Coast Salish tribes are celebrated in the Whatcom Museum’s new permanent exhibit People of the Sea and Cedar.

Bellingham – Downtown

A variety of museums and galleries are plentiful in Downtown Bellingham. Learn about transportation at Bellingham Railway Museum, the intersection of art and science at Mindport Gallery, and exhibitions by local artists at Allied Arts Gallery.

Spark Museum of Electrical Invention

Science and history intermingle to produce an explosive indoor lightning show every weekend at the Spark Museum in Downtown Bellingham. See and learn about the amazing discoveries and inventions by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla, George Westinghouse, Alexander Graham Bell, and scores of others who changed the course of human history. And don’t miss the MegaZapper Show!

Read More: Get Charged Up at Spark Museum of Electrical Invention

Historic Walking Tour

When you’re ready to stretch your legs, a self-guided Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Bellingham is available in desktop, mobile and printed version.

Bellingham – Fairhaven District

On the south side of Bellingham Bay, the Historic Fairhaven District is home to numerous art galleries, including two artist co-operatives. Artwood features fine woodworking and Whatcom Art Market features work by more than 40 artists in a variety of mediums.

Peter James Gallery

Photographer Peter James has recently opened a new gallery in the Orca Building on the corner of 12th and Mill Avenue in the Historic Fairhaven District.

Outdoor Sculpture

Western Washington University

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. Access to the sculptures is free and open to the public.

Read more: Explore the Arts at Western Washington University

The “For Handel” sculpture at WWU.

Bellingham’s Big Rock Sculpture Garden

A 2.5-acre city park near Lake Whatcom also features more than 35 permanent outdoor sculptures by distinguished international and local artists, owned and maintained by the City of Bellingham. Access to this collection is also free and open to the public.

Lynden

The heart of Lynden is Front Street, which is home to both the Lynden Pioneer Museum and the Jansen Art Center. Both are housed in historic buildings. The Lynden Pioneer Museum features in depth local history displays, as well as the largest collection of horse-drawn buggies east of the Mississippi. The Jansen Art Center is a hands-on maker space and gallery for arts, music and dance.

Read More: Explore the Arts, Heritage and Fun in Lovely Lynden, WA

Museums Download

Museums & Galleries Links & Resources

Allied Arts of Whatcom County | 360-676-8548
1418 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham
Dedicated to the arts in our region by empowering local artists through organized festivals and events, enriching our local school children through educational outreach programs, and working as a liaison to art enthusiasts of all ages | alliedarts@alliedarts.com
Artwood | 360-647-1628
1000 Harris, Bellingham
Artwood is a cooperatively owned showplace and retail source for the finest in contemporary woodworking, providing custom design services, cabinetry, fine furniture, and many decorative accessories. Artwood also carries a variety of consigned work by other local artists. Come in and experience the beauty of wood. | info@artwoodgallery.com
Bellingham Railway Museum | 360-393-7540
1320 Commercial Street, Bellingham
Features 500 sq ft large scale toy train layout, interactive O Gauge layout, collections of antique toy trains, railroad history and more. | bellinghamrailwaymuseum@gmail.com
Jansen Art Center | 360-354-3600
321 Front Street, Lynden
The Jansen Art Center is a place for artists to create, teach, share, and engage the community in the arts. | info@jansenartcenter.org
Mindport Exhibits | 360-647-5614
210 W Holly Street, Bellingham
Mindport offers an inspiring blend of fine art and hand-built interactive exhibits to spark your awareness and stimulate your thinking. Come explore!
Outdoor Sculpture Collection | 360-650-3000
516 High Street, Bellingham
Extending from the Western Gallery's plaza and integrated with other campus buildings, quadrangles, lawns, and playing fields is Western's Outdoor Sculpture Collection. The Western Gallery is in the Fine Arts Complex, centrally located on campus and across from Carver Gym.
Peter James Studios | 360-715-9699
1211 Mill Ave, Bellingham
Located in Historic Fairhaven's Orca Building, Peter James is ready to help you look your best, by putting you at ease while using the best modern lighting and composition techniques. He offer all types of personal and business photography in his high-tech photo studio, in your home or office, or at any outdoor location you desire. | peter@peterjamesphoto.com
Spark Museum of Electrical Invention | 360-738-3886
1312 Bay Street, Bellingham
The Spark Museum of Electrical Invention offers an exciting and educational experience for audiences of all ages. Compelling, interactive exhibits spanning four centuries of scientific achievement and cultural heritage are featured in a world-class collection of unique objects. The Spark Museum displays the inventions and innovations that changed the course of human history. | tana@sparkmuseum.org
Western Gallery | 360-650-3900
Old Main 490, Bellingham
The Western Gallery provides diverse experiences in the visual arts for its constituencies, encompassing the University community and region while providing a point of reference to the national and international art scene.
Western Washington University | 360-650-3000
516 High Street, Bellingham
For 13 years in a row, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Western Washington University as the best regional public university in the Pacific Northwest, and #2 in the western United States.
Whatcom Art Market | 360-738-8564
1103 11th St, Bellingham
We are composed of over 40 local artists & craftspeople, from watercolor & oil painters to wood & metal workers. Our photographers travel to bring you stunning images! We have artists creating jewelry & glass, handcrafted knits & textiles. Visit us Wednesday-Sunday 10:00-6:00. | FairhavenArtMarket@gmail.com
Whatcom Artists Studio Tour | 360-738-3961
PO Box 5921, Bellingham
Whatcom County artists open their studios to the public during the 20th annual Whatcom Studio Artist Tour the first two weekends of October. Artwork is for sale and artists are available (some demonstrating) to meet with visitors. Tour includes clay, glass, handmade books, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and woodworking. This self-guided tour is free. | info@studiotour.net
Whatcom Museum | 360-778-8930
121 Prospect Street, Bellingham
The Whatcom Museum, located in the heart of downtown Bellingham's cultural district, offers a rich variety of programs and exhibitions about art, nature and Northwest history. The campus features two buildings with public hours; Old City Hall and the Lightcatcher. | museuminfo@cob.org
Whatcom Museum - Lightcatcher | 360-778-8930
250 Flora Street, Bellingham
THE LIGHTCATCHER is designed by Olson Kundig Architects’ founding partner, Jim Olson. The building is named for its focal point and most innovative feature — a spectacular, translucent wall 37 feet high and 180 feet long, that captures the Northwest’s most precious natural resource: sunlight. The 42,000-square-foot-building integrates natural materials native to the region and is the first museum in Washington designed and registered to LEED Silver-Level specifications.

Bellingham International Maritime Museum
800 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham
360-592-4112
Big Rock Garden Park
2900 Sylvan Street, Bellingham
Lynden Pioneer Museum
217 Front Street, Lynden
360-354-3675
Sculpture Northwest
203 Prospect Street, Bellingham
info@sculpturenorthwest.org
Semiahmoo Park Maritime Museum
9261 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine
360-733-2900
Uptown Art Studio
800 Harris Avenue Suite 101, Bellingham
360-733-1471
robert@uptownart.com
 
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