July 8, 2021

Christina Claassen
Whatcom Museum
(360) 778-8936

In-Person Docent-Led Tours Return to the Whatcom Museum

After a year and a half of closures or limited in-person capacity due to COVID-19, the Whatcom Museum is excited to bring back in-person docent-led tours of the exhibitions in the Lightcatcher building. Beginning July 11, visitors can participate in an English or Spanish language tour of the exhibition, El Zodíaco Familiar or a tour of the exhibition Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest.

The Museum’s docents are a group of trained volunteers who work with the curator of art to gain insight into the themes, works and artists in an exhibition. They contribute many hours of their time to research and plan the focus and content of their individual tours.

Although the Museum is open at full capacity, safety measures are in place to limit group size and create an enjoyable but safe tour environment. Each tour can accommodate up to six people and pre-registration is strongly recommended. Walk-in visitors will be accommodated as space allows. The tours begin in the lobby of the Lightcatcher building, last 45 minutes to an hour and are free to members or included with admission for non-members.

Summer tours of El Zodíaco Familiar, an exhibition by George Rodriguez, take place Sundays, July 11, Aug. 15, Sept. 5 and Oct. 24, and Fridays, July 16, Aug. 27, Sept. 10 and Oct. 8 with English language tours at 1 p.m. and Spanish language tours at 2 p.m. Registration for El Zodíaco Familiar is available online. Tours of Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest take place Thursdays, July 29, and Aug. 5, 12 and 19 at 1 p.m.  Registration for Fluid Formations is also available online.

Celebrating a rich legacy unique to our region, Fluid Formations features the art of 57 contemporary artists working in glass. Drawing from the Museum’s permanent collection, loans from artists, and working in close partnership with Museum of Glass (Tacoma, Wash.), the exhibition celebrates the innovation and striking range of processes and ideas that come from decades of generous exchange and shared passion for the material of glass. In addition to docent-led tours of this exhibition, Curator of Art Amy Chaloupka will lead curator tours in the gallery July 22, Aug. 26, Sept. 16 and Oct. 7, 12:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is available online.

Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest will be on exhibit through Oct. 10, 2021, at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora St. This exhibition is organized in partnership with Museum of Glass and supported in part by Peoples Bank, the Whatcom Museum Foundation, the City of Bellingham and the National Endowment for the Arts with media support from Cascade Public Media KCTS9. Learn more.

Championed by Seattle-based ceramic artist George Rodriguez, the exhibition features new works by Rodriguez and 13 Mexican and ChicanX/Chicane collaborating artists. Rodriguez embarked on a collaborative iteration of the Chinese Zodiac, reimagining the classic zodiac animals as analogous creatures of Mexican origin, bridging cultures and creating new narratives. Each artist has imbued their collaboratively-imagined sculpture—corresponding to the zodiac animal of their birth year—with personal perspective, folk tradition and an intimate feeling of celebration. While each sculpture is as distinct as its maker, taken together, the twelve pieces vibrate with deep resonances of the familiar.

El Zodíaco Familiar will be on exhibit through Oct. 24, 2021, at the Lightcatcher building. This exhibition is supported in part by the Whatcom Museum Foundation, the City of Bellingham and the National Endowment for the Arts with media support from Cascade Public Media KCTS9. 

The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., offers a variety of exhibitions, programs, tours and activities about art, nature and Northwest history for all ages. Its multi-building campus is in the heart of Bellingham's downtown Arts District. The Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora St., and Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St., are open Thursdays – Sundays, Noon – 5 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free to members, $10 for general admission, $8 for youth (6-17)/students/military (with valid ID)/Seniors (62+), $5 for children 2-5 years old and free to children 2 and younger. 

        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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