FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, or to arrange interviews or obtain images please contact: 

Christina Claassen, Marketing & Public Relations Manager, (360) 778-8936



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bellingham, WA, May 21, 2015--The Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) inside the Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street, is planning an expansion, as well as updates to current exhibits, as we continue to integrate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) education into the curriculum. The Museum invites parents, teachers, artists and other adult community members to attend a design "charrette" or collaborative planning session, on Tues., June 2 from 10am-5pm in the FIG to weigh in on the change.* Community members interested in looking at the current exhibits in the FIG and sharing comments, critiques and ideas are welcome to drop in any time throughout this time frame to participate. The public is also welcome to join Museum staff for refreshments and a short presentation at 5pm in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall, 121 Prospect Street, with FIG designer Larry Ackerley of Spaces and Experience Design firm in Seattle.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2015; Bellingham, WA -- A new reference collection of more than 500 titles focusing on art and regional history is now accessible to community members and Whatcom County researchers, thanks to a partnership between the Whatcom Museum and the Bellingham Public Library, and generous donations to the Museum. The Joyce Morse Reference Library is open by appointment on Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon-3pm, at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street. Visitors can call 360-778-8938 to make an appointment.

The collection, which can be searched online through the Bellingham Public Library’s Special Collections catalog, includes general art references and art history books, with a focus on regional art and history Whatcom County history, and art and history of Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Catalogues and other publications of the Whatcom Museum are also available. The books will not circulate, but they are available to view in the Reference Library at the Lightcatcher by appointment.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; May 14, 2015, Bellingham, WA -- Starting Thursday, July 9 and continuing each Thursday through August 27, the Whatcom Museum’s popular summer cruise aboard the Island Mariner takes a close-up view of parks, businesses, industry and neighborhoods from Bellingham Bay, with Bellingham native Brian Griffin as tour guide. This is the 32nd year of the history cruises, which are a popular summer pastime.

Guests travel aboard the 110-foot Puget Sound tour boat Island Caper, which leaves from Squalicum Harbor near downtown Bellingham. Squalicum Harbor is the Port of Bellingham's boat haven for almost 1500 fishing and pleasure boats. The Island Caper has inside seating for more than 100 passengers, plus a covered upper deck viewing area. It has two main-deck onboard restrooms with household toilets and many more amenities, including a bar selling wine and beer on board.

Island Mariner Cruises is located at 2621 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham WA 98225. The cruise boards at 5:30pm, departs promptly at 6 PM, and returns to the dock around 8:30 PM.

Tickets go on sale June 1st and are $35 general/$30 for museum members; $28 per person for groups of 8 or more people. Purchase through Brown Paper Tickets,, by calling 800/838.3006 ext. 1, or in-person at the Museum Store located at 250 Flora St. Bellingham, WA 98225. Check here for FAQ.


Helmi's World: Symbol, Myth, Fantasy
June 27 - October 11, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2015; Bellingham, WA -- Helmi's World: Symbol, Myth, Fantasy presents 65 artworks--paintings, drawings, prints, carved linoleum blocks, ceramics--drawn from the Whatcom Museum's collection of artist Helmi Juvonen's work, which numbers 250 objects. The exhibition, curated by Barbara Matilsky, also contains a detailed biographical timeline and illustrated object labels. It will be featured at the Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building June 27 through October 11, 2015.

Helmi Juvonen (1903-1985), known in her day simply as Helmi, was a prolific artist whose creativity embraced diverse media. She was particularly drawn to Northwest Coast native culture and developed a rapport with the chiefs of the Lummi, Swinomish, Makah, and Yakama, who invited her to participate in their ceremonies. Native art and ritual nurtured Helmi's creative spirit, empowering her to transcend gender bias, poverty, and decades committed to an asylum for mental illness.



Bellingham National Art Exhibition and Awards

May 31-September 6, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2015; Bellingham, WA--The Whatcom Museum is hosting the Bellingham National Art Exhibition and Awards, a juried exhibition featuring artworks in a variety of media, including video, photography, ceramics, mixed media, paintings and more. The exhibition at the Lightcatcher Building opens May 31st and runs through August 30, 2015. Representing artists from 16 states, including Washington, the exhibition will include 101 pieces from more than 60 artists. Juried by Scott Lawrimore, director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, University of Washington, the exhibition attracted more than 600 artists who submitted works to be considered. 


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Wednesday - Sunday, noon-5pm;
open Thursday until 8pm; open Saturday at 10am

250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225  

Family Interactive Gallery (FIG)
Wednesday - Saturday, 10-5pm; Sunday noon-5pm
250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225


Thursday - Sunday, noon-5pm; for select programs.
121 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA  98225

Wednesday - Friday, 1-5 pm.
201 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

Between May 20 and June 26, 2015, the Photo Archives will have different hours due to roof work on the building.

CLOSED Wednesday; Thursday and Friday 1-5PM (check in with the attendant at Old City Hall, 121 Prospect Street)

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