Lorraine Wilde | 12/11/2017 | Insider Blogs, Seasonal Travel, Winter |   

Cozy Winter Activities at Whatcom County Museums and Art Galleries

An intense winter sunset on a low tide at Locust Beach. The winter weather in the Pacific Northwest doesn't always cooperate with our best-laid plans. But because Bellingham and Whatcom County have a plethora of invigorating museums and galleries, you can stay cozy while soaking up local fine art and historical artifacts at a variety of venues. From sculpture, paintings and photography to historical collections, fine woodworking, and hand crafts, you'll be visually and culturally stimulated, regardless of what’s happening outside. Although I couldn’t include them all, these are the museums and galleries that provide phenomenal opportunities to see the work of local artists as well as a host of national and 

Whatcom Museum

Centered in Bellingham’s downtown arts district, the Whatcom Museum campus provides creative, thought-provoking educational programs and exhibitions about our changing cultural, natural, and historical landscapes. Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2016, Whatcom Museum continues to bring art, history, and nature to more than 70,000 people each year. Visitors can plan a day or weekend visit around their iconic buildings, first-class art exhibitions, extensive collections, and varied educational programs that serve patrons of all ages. The Whatcom Museum Campus includes three historically significant buildings in downtown Bellingham. The Lightcatcher hosts a rotating schedule of art exhibitions throughout the year as well as a Family Interactive Gallery (FIG), a hands-on museum space for kids. The iconic Old City Hall houses historical exhibits including the building itself. Next to Old City Hall is the Syre Education Center containing classrooms and several permanent educational exhibits. For more details, see my article Art, Nature. History and Fun with Whatcom Museum. LIGHTCATCHER Wednesday - Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) 

Spark Museum of Electrical Invention

My family loves Spark, which covers the dawn of the electrical age as early as the 1600’s, through the Golden Age of radio  in the 1920’s, and up through the evolution of today’s modern technology. Not only are wireless technology, radio and television transmission, and magnetism all explained for any level of understanding, the museum also offers fantastic rare artifacts, hands-on exhibits, and exciting demonstrations to more than 20,000 visitors each year including school groups, tourists from around the globe, and local lovers like me. My article Get Charged Up at The Spark Museum of Electrical Invention has all the information you'll need to plan your visit. SPARK MUSEUM 1312 Bay Street Bellingham, WA 98225 360-738-3886

Mindport Exhibits

This eclectic interactive science and art gallery in downtown Bellingham, WA is an extravaganza of original hands-on art found nowhere else. Not just for kids, Mindport encourages the curious and the young at heart of any age to explore with all their senses while also offering a unique aesthetic. This affordable, accessible bonanza encourages visitors to touch, observe, reflect, question, reason, communicate and play with each exhibit. Their goal is to stimulate curiosity, conversation and connection through art and hands-on exhibits that integrate art and science, mind and body, stillness and movement. In my article Explore Hands On Art at Mindport in Bellingham,  I explain why I visit Mindport over and over. MINDPORT Wednesday-Friday 12-6 p.m. 

Western Gallery

Located on the Western Washington University campus, the Western Gallery features five to six temporary art exhibitions annually, concentrating on national and international art. The gallery has 4,500 square feet of exhibition space in a wing of the Fine Arts Building, and three smaller spaces in the Performing Arts Center, where Northwest art from the collection is shown. Admission is free and if you're lucky and the weather cooperates, you can also tour the university's outdoor sculpture collection. 

Allied Arts of Whatcom County

Founded 38 years ago by a group of local artists, Allied Arts of Whatcom County is an alliance of Whatcom County creatives. Their over arching goal is to meet the needs of the community while providing opportunities in the arts. For visitors, they produce and distribute the Arts and Culture Guide online and in area hotels and businesses. They also pour their energy into arts education in schools, providing education and exhibition opportunities to local artists and connecting with the community through a whole host of events and exhibitions. Learn more in my article Explore Allied Arts of Whatcom County All Year Long. ALLIED ARTS OF WHATCOM COUNTY Regular Hours Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday 12 – 5 p.m. Closed Mondays in November 

Artwood Gallery

Artwood is a cooperative gallery located in the heart of Bellingham's historic Fairhaven district. Each piece in this inviting woodworking gallery is designed and made by an individual artist. The work of Artwood's eight active woodworking members and about 90 other artists and crafts people are represented. The beauty and scent of fine natural hard woods shines in the furniture, housewares, musical instruments and gifts will draw you in out of any windy, rainy day.

Gallery Pegasus

A gallery of traditional and contemporary fine art located in the heart of the downtown Bellingham Arts District. Works exhibited change every couple of months. The gallery donates 5% of sales to the local women's shelter. You can appreciate original works in a variety of media and also shop for fine art prints.GALLERY PEGASUS Thursday - Tuesday 12 - 5 p.m. and by appointment. 301 W Holly Street Bellingham, WA 98225 360-599-7731 

Yvette Neumann Fine Art Studio and Gallery

Yvette Neumann is a Pacific Northwest visual artist, whose work includes original abstract and contemporary paintings, prints, cards, and sculptural elements. She and her husband, Derek, also offer 3- and 7-day workshop packages that cover an array of art vacation opportunities. Painting is intermingled with trips to mountains or water, museums, galleries, wineries, or breweries and includes transportation, meals, happy hours, art supplies and instruction by Yvette. Get in touch in advance as studio and gallery visits are by appointment only. YVETTE NEUMANN FINE ART STUDIO AND GALLERY 1893 Kelly Rd. Bellingham, WA 98226 (360) 510-9819 yvette@yvetteneumann.com By appointment only. 

Whatcom Art Market (WAM)

An artists collective made up of more than 45 members of Whatcom Art Guild, WAM is run at a permanent Fairhaven location by its members. Works on display include the creations of area painters, photographers, craftspeople, jewelry-makers, glass and metal-workers and most anything you can imagine. An excellent stop to find the perfect gift all year long, the market is full of unique pieces you’ll find no where else. WHATCOM ART MARKET Wednesday - Sunday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. 1103 11th St. Bellingham, WA 98225 360-738-8564 If seeing fine art and crafts inspires you to make some yourself, consider one of Bellingham's many options for DIY Crafts. Of course, Bellingham and Whatcom County offer even more fabulous opportunities than we could list here. We hope these will get you out of the house and into a warm and cozy museum or gallery. Let us know your favorites by commenting below, then get out there and enjoy winter!

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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