FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 2, 2022

MEDIA CONTACT:
Christina Claassen, Marketing & PR Manager
Whatcom Museum
cmclaassen@cob.org
(360) 778-8936
https://www.whatcommuseum.org/

September & October 2022 Programs & Exhibitions at the Whatcom Museum

The Whatcom Museum is offering a mix of virtual as well as in-person programs. Our virtual programs are live-streamed on our YouTube channel. For details about our programs visit our web calendar.

September:

Downtown Art Walk
Friday, Sept. 2, 5 – 9pm | Old City Hall | Free
We’ll be opening Old City Hall for this month’s Downtown Art Walk. Come see two great music exhibits in the first-floor galleries. The Scene tells Bellingham’s music history from past to present, and Not One of the Boys showcases the psychedelic concert posters created by Bonnie MacLean in the 1960s.

Scene Alchemy: Harry Smith and the Foundations of Folk Music
Friday, Sept. 2, 6 – 8pm | Old City Hall | Free
Rock out at Old City Hall and learn about an unsung Pacific Northwest countercultural prodigy. During September’s Downtown Art Walk, musician and historian Bret Lunsford will discuss the subject of his new book, Sounding for Harry Smith, as well as connections between Smith’s youth in Bellingham and his influential Anthology of American Folk Music. Before or after the talk, check out The Scene and Not One of the Boys, two exhibits relating to our active music scene.

Old City Hall History Tours
Sundays, Sept. 4, 11, 18, & 25, 1 – 2pm | Old City Hall
Included with admission/Members Free
Take a fun, informative tour through Old City Hall and down to the basement to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. Our tour guides will give an overview of the architecture of the venerable building, as well as the history of the early days of Bellingham. Tours begin in the first-floor lobby.

Docent Tours of Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art
Thursdays and Saturdays, Sept. 10, 15, 17, 22, 24 & 29, 1 – 2pm | Lightcatcher
Included with admission/Members free
Take a docent-led tour of Un/Natural Selections. Visitors can gain in-depth insights into this exhibition's themes, artists, and works. The exhibition considers the diverse ways contemporary artists employ animal imagery to address humanity’s inter-connectedness and ever-changing relationship with the natural world. Tours begin in the lobby.

Bellingham Parks & Rec Travelogue: What is it Like to Bike Across America Solo?
Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 – 9pm | Old City Hall & Virtual
$5 Suggested donation/Members free
Patrick McGinty, a local Bellingham adventurer, took the challenge in the Spring of 2019 to bike across the Southern Tier of the United States solo. It was a challenging, exciting, and eye-opening experience. In McGinty's presentation, he will highlight the route he took, some of the challenges he encountered, what he ate, where he slept, how much it cost, what he learned, and what most surprised him. He will present his experience in a dynamic, fun way with photos and stories from the road. He has also chronicled his journey in his book, A Bike Trip Across America: A 3,411-mile Journey of Discovery. This in-person program will also be live-streamed via the Museum’s YouTube channel.

Curator Tour of Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art
Friday, Sept. 16, 1 – 2pm | Lightcatcher
Included with admission/Members free
Learn more about the artists and artwork featured in Un/Natural Selections from the Museum’s Curator of Art, Amy Chaloupka. The exhibition considers the diverse ways contemporary artists employ animal imagery to address humanity’s interconnectedness and ever-changing relationship with the natural world. Tours begin in the lobby.

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Saturday, Sept. 17, Noon – 5pm | Lightcatcher & Old City Hall
Free with registration
In the spirit of the Smithsonian Museums, which offer free admission every day, Museum Day is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country, including the Whatcom Museum, open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket—for free! Visit the Museum Day page for more info and to register and print your ticket.

Back to School Screen Printing
Saturday, Sept. 17, Noon – 3pm | Lightcatcher
Free with Smithsonian Museum Day Registration
Get ready to hit the books this year by creating your own customized bag! Stop by the Lightcatcher Art Studio during Smithsonian Museum Day to decorate a book bag with screen-printed designs. Inspired by our new exhibition, Un/Natural Selections, we will be decorating our bags with designs from the natural world. Discover a new art technique and take home a one-of-a-kind work of usable art! All ages are welcome.

Fourth Sundays: Audubon at the Museum
Sunday, Sept. 25, 1 – 3pm (Drop-In) | Old City Hall
Included with Admission/Members free
Join experts from the North Cascades Audubon Society in the John M. Edson Hall of Birds to learn about migration, conservation, birds in peril, and the importance of studying bird specimens today. The exhibit provides a variety of interactives, including video and audio files, and hands-on activities for children. All ages are welcome.

North Cascades Audubon Society
Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 – 9pm | Virtual via Zoom | Register online | Free
In this talk, author David B. Williams tells the long story of the Sound, tracing human history from the earliest records more than 12,500 years ago to the present. He will also consider overlooked species such as Olympia oysters, rockfish, geoduck, kelp, and herring, as well as salmon and orca. Witty, graceful, and deeply informed, these stories present a fascinating and hopeful narrative, one that will introduce newcomers to the astonishing life that inhabits Puget Sound and offers longtime residents new insight into and appreciation of the waters they call home. Williams is a Curatorial Associate at the Burke Museum and author of the award-winning book, Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound.

October:

Docent Tours of Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art
Thursdays and Saturdays, Oct. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, & 29, 1 – 2pm | Lightcatcher
Included with admission/Members free
Take a docent-led tour of Un/Natural Selections. Visitors can gain in-depth insights into this exhibition's themes, artists, and works. The exhibition considers the diverse ways contemporary artists employ animal imagery to address humanity’s interconnectedness and ever-changing relationship with the natural world. Tours begin in the lobby.

Old City Hall History Tours
Sundays, Oct. 2, 9, 13, & 23, 1 – 2pm | Old City Hall
Included with admission/Members free
Take a fun, informative tour through Old City Hall and down to the basement to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. Our tour guides will give an overview of the architecture of the venerable building, as well as the history of the early days of Bellingham. Tours begin in the first-floor lobby.

Whatcom County Historical Society
Whatcom County’s Rock & Roll History
Thursday, Oct. 13, 7:30 – 9pm | Old City Hall
$5 Suggested donation/Members free
Join local authors Wes Gannaway and Kent Holsather for a slideshow presentation about local bands and venues for rock and roll music from the early 1950s through the 1960s. Gannaway has been researching history with Holsather for several decades. They are co-authors of four books: Whatcom Then and Now, Bellingham Then and Now, Bays to Bells, and Drive-ins, Drive-ups, and Drive-Thrus. This event will be live-streamed via the Museum’s YouTube channel.

Bellingham Parks & Rec Travelogue: In Search of the Perfect Night Sky Image 
Thursday, Oct. 20, 7 – 9pm | Old City Hall & Virtual
$5 Suggested donation/Members free
Join local photographer and teacher Andy Porter as he describes his ongoing quest for the most awesome night sky picture, ever! Porter will share all he knows about camera settings, locations for great night sky imaging, and any other tips he can think of. He is currently a photography teacher at Burlington-Edison High School and teaches adult photography classes through Bellingham Parks and Rec, Burlington Parks and Rec, and the North Cascades Institute. See Porter’s work at www.AndyPorterImages.com. This in-person program will also be live-streamed via the Museum’s YouTube channel.

Curator Tour of Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art
Friday, Oct. 21, 1 – 2pm | Lightcatcher
Included with admission/Members free
Learn more about the artists and artwork featured in Un/Natural Selections from the Museum’s Curator of Art, Amy Chaloupka. The exhibition considers the diverse ways contemporary artists employ animal imagery to address humanity’s interconnectedness and ever-changing relationship with the natural world. Tours begin in the lobby.

Fourth Sundays: Audubon at the Museum
Sunday, Oct. 23, 1 – 3pm (Drop-In) | Old City Hall
Included with admission/ Members free
Join experts from the North Cascades Audubon Society in the John M. Edson Hall of Birds to learn about migration, conservation, birds in peril, and the importance of studying bird specimens today. The exhibit provides a variety of interactives, including video and audio files, and hands-on activities for children. All ages are welcome.

North Cascades Audubon Society
Shoreline Armor and Sea Level Rise: Putting the Squeeze on Habitat
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7 – 9pm | Virtual via Zoom | Register Online | Free
Scott Andrews, senior program manager for Audubon Washington, describes how the armoring of shorelines and the construction of bulkheads or walls of rocks known as riprap, impact the critical shoreline habitat around Puget Sound. Often built on the upper beach, they block the natural functioning of the nearshore and degrade habitat for forage fish spawning and lead to the loss of finer beach sediments. These impacts will worsen as the sea level rises. Learn what is being done to address these growing impacts.

Haunted Old City Hall
Sunday, Oct. 30, Noon – 3pm | Old City Hall
Included with admission/Members free
Ring the doorbell at Haunted Old City Hall for a day filled with treats and perhaps a few tricks. Join us upstairs for family-friendly creepy crafts and spooky stories. Glimpse into the past through our historic exhibit or listen for a raven tapping on our display door. For the more adventurous, descend into the bowels of the building with ghostly jail tours, showcasing some of the crazed criminals once held in the cells.

Exhibitions:

Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art
September 10, 2022 – January 8, 2023 | Lightcatcher
Un/Natural Selections considers the diverse ways contemporary artists employ animal imagery to address humanity’s interconnectedness and ever-changing relationship with the natural world. Comprised of approximately 50 artworks traveling exclusively from the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY, this exhibition offers a wide range of works in a variety of media divided into four thematic sections: Tradition, Politics, Science, and Aesthetics. These sections act as overlapping chapters, investigating the ways we use animal imagery to tackle human concerns. Un/Natural Selections is organized by the National Museum of Wildlife Art and generously sponsored by Art Bridges. Additional support from ArtsWA, Heritage Bank, and Jean Andresen.

Andrea Joyce Heimer: Holy Mountain
September 10, 2022 – January 8, 2023 | Lightcatcher
Through this group of autobiographical paintings, Andrea Joyce Heimer reflects on states of loneliness, both in herself and in others. Over the course of the pandemic, the artist spent many hours in nature—as much as she once did in childhood. Having grown up in Montana, she is familiar with land that stretches out in all directions under a big sky and where pine-covered mountains skirt brutally desolate badlands. The Montana landscape is omnipresent in her densely populated, story-filled paintings. Each mountain, stream, prairie, and butte are as much a character in the work as the human figures that teem within. Now a resident in Washington, where the impenetrable terrain emits a different kind of claustrophobic loneliness, the ferns, moss, mushrooms, and trees of this place make their way into her work. A multitude of encounters and experiences unfold through the varied painted scenes.

New to the Collection: Carl Chew
September 10, 2022 – January 8, 2023 | Lightcatcher First Floor Hallway
In 2020, Seattle artist Carl Chew donated four new prints and a tapestry to the Whatcom Museum collection. Chew has long studied the world through an absurdist lens. Known primarily for his “mail art” and collage, in 2019 the artist decided to apply his wild imagination to our regional landscape. The resulting imagery feels immediately familiar, and upon further inspection, also highly produced. The symmetry and cathedral-like compositions begin to become clearer.

Not One of the Boys: The Psychedelic Posters of Bonnie MacLean
Through November 20, 2022 | Old City Hall
Bonnie MacLean was at the right place at the right time. Surrounded by artistic and musical creativity in 1960s San Francisco, she stepped in as a fledgling artist to help her then-husband Bill Graham promote many of the iconic bands of the era at his concert venue, The Fillmore. Initially borrowing design styles from other poster artists, MacLean soon created her own style. Featuring elaborate plumes, curving letters, and stoic faces, her work would eventually be considered among the finest of the time. This exhibit shares MacLean’s lithograph posters we are extremely fortunate to hold in the Museum’s collection.

The Scene: A Journey Through Bellingham’s Musical Past
Through November 20, 2022 | Old City Hall
From string bands on steamboats in the 1890s to alternative/indie rock bands today, for more than 100 years Bellingham’s music scene has embraced genres ranging from folk to classical to rock and roll and beyond. Located between the big cities of Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, Bellingham was and continues to be the sweet spot for performers both well-known and up-and-coming, where they can share their music with appreciative listeners in a more intimate environment. This exhibit presents a timeline of the styles, musicians, and venues that helped put Bellingham on the “music map.”

All Is Not Lost
Through December 13, 2022 | Old City Hall
Hundreds of glass negatives have been donated to the Whatcom Museum, often arriving in a damaged condition after decades of poor storage and rough handling. The pictures in this exhibition are deliberately featured with their accumulation of scratches, cracks, lost corners, mold stains, and water damage. Though marred, time ravaged negatives can still render images of historical significance.

People of the Sea and Cedar: A Journey Through the Tribal Cultures and History of the Northwest Coast
OnGoing | Lightcatcher
People of the Sea and Cedar shares the history and art of the Northwest Coast Native people, blending both historical and contemporary perspectives. View historic photographs and artifacts, participate in hands-on learning experiences, listen to a Lummi language interactive, and more.

John M. Edson Hall of Birds
Ongoing | Old City Hall
Designed in collaboration with the North Cascades Audubon Society, the Hall of Birds features the Museum's collection of more than 500 mounted birds accompanied by interactive opportunities.

        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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