Monday, December 11th, 2017
Cozy Winter Activities at Whatcom County Museums and Art Galleries
Lorraine Wilde
locust beach sunset by Chris Howard

An intense winter sunset on a low tide at Locust Beach. Photo by Chris Howard.

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 international works in a variety of media.

Whatcom Museum C9 Photography Old City Hall

Whatcom Museum’s iconic Old City Hall building built in 1892. Photo by C9 Photography.

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)
Wednesday – Saturday, 10-5 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m.
250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

OLD CITY HALL
Wednesday – Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
121 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA  98225

Spark Museum of Electrical Invention Bellingham Whatcom Tourism Lorraine Wilde

 

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
Wednesday-Sunday
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1312 Bay Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-738-3886

Hands-on art at Mindport.

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.
Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday 12-4 p.m.
210 West Holly Street
Bellingham, Washington 98225

Western Gallery Coded Threads art Whatcom Bellingham University Washington

Coded Threads, an exhibition combining textiles and technology appeared at Western Gallery from September to December 2017.

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.

WESTERN GALLERY
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

Allied Arts Whatcom County Art Festival Bellingham Tourism holiday

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 and December.
Gallery & Store
1418 Cornwall Ave
Bellingham, WA 98225

 

Artwood Fairhaven Steve Pulver Live Edge maple burl bowls

Maple burl bowls by Steve Pulver at Artwood in historic Fairhaven.

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.

ARTWOOD GALLERY
Mon-Sat: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
1000 Harris Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-647-1628

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 Creative Life Adventures NW Bellingham Whatcom Fairhaven tourism fine art

Yvette Neumann’s Bloom, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas in Silver Metal Frame, 60″ x 48″

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.

Kenneth Kearney Photography brown bear cubs bellingham whatcom tourism art

Photographer Kenneth Kearney sells his wildlife and landscape photos at WAM alongside 45 other artists. Brown Bear Cubs. Kenneth Kearney Photography.

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!

For more ideas see the full list of Lorraine’s articles.

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About the Author:

Lorraine Wilde has immersed herself in so many of Whatcom County’s vibrant communities over the past 25 years. Owner and Publicity Strategist for Wilde World Communications, Lorraine has connected with locals as a writer, actor, scientist, teacher, filmmaker, singer, and mom. Lorraine has performed improv and staged works in several of Whatcom County’s theatres and she is active in the Bellingham Film community. She is also a big supporter of the local music community. When she has a spare second, its spent with her children outside exploring a new adventure.