All exhibitions are located in the Lightcatcher building (LCB) unless otherwise noted.

Current Exhibitions


May 9 - August 30, 2015, Old City Hall

Featuring the work of Seattle photographer and author Paul Bannick, The Owl & the Woodpecker introduces museum visitors to the most important species of owls and woodpeckers in North America, illustrating how they define and enrich the specific habitats on which they depend, and highlighting the critical importance of conservation. The exhibition includes:

  • Twenty-five large-format, framed color prints by Bannick
  • Text descriptions of each bird, written by the photographer, plus several thematic text panels that highlight the conservation issues affecting different owl and woodpecker habitats across North America
  • Audio recordings of the calls and drumming sounds of the birds featured in the photographs, provided by audio-naturalist Martyn Stewart, who has recorded more than 200,000 bird sounds worldwide.

Paul Bannick is known for his intimate wildlife photography, which supports environmental conservation efforts. He his the author of a book by the same title as the exhibition, and his work has appeared in Audubon magazine, the National Wildlife Federation Guide to North American Birds, Smithsonian Guide to North American Birds, and in many other books, magazines, parks, refuges, and other places in North America and Europe. The Owl & the Woodpecker: Photographs by Paul Bannick was organized by the Burke Museum, University of Washington, created with Paul Bannick and Braided River, a partner of The Mountaineers Books.

Save the date! Join the Whatcom Museum, the North Cascades Audubon Society, and the North Cascades Institute for a slideshow and presentation by Paul Bannick in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall on Tues., Aug. 11 at 7pm. Ticketed event. More info here.

Open concurrently, May 9-30, Birds of Washington permanent collection at the Syre Education Center.



northern saw-whet_owlResize


Northern Saw-whet Owls. Photo by Paul Bannick. 




Pacific Northwest Masters Series

March 7- June 14, 2015, Lightcatcher Building

Tom Sherwood interprets the beauty of the human form and the natural environment in exquisite detail. His mastery of perspective, anatomy and techniques that define Renaissance art – egg tempera and gold leaf on wood panel – elevates the work to a spiritual dimension. In his paintings, drawings, and wood block prints, the artist integrates a rich variety of inspirations: poetry, garden landscapes, mythology, architecture, and mathematics.

Based in Bellingham since 1970, Sherwood has traveled and taught art at colleges and universities in the United States and China. His life and work have touched many prominent Washington artists, including Susan Bennerstrom, John Cole, Ann Morris, and Thomas Wood, among others. Tom Sherwood: A Golden Perspective offers viewers an unusual opportunity to experience the unique work of a master artist, who has made a significant contribution to our community's creativity.

 Apotheosis, 1997
Egg tempera and gold leaf on panel
Collection of Ron Binns





Ongoing on the 2nd Floor Passageway of the Lightcatcher

Curated by Jeff Jewell

Complementing The Art of Genre: Posters from Hollywood's Golden Age, this 2nd floor hallway show will feature a dozen historic images of movie theaters in downtown Bellingham, including the Bell Show, the Star, the Liberty, the Dream, the American, the Avalon and the People's. Photographs will be in stunning black and white, just like early motion pictures.


 3158 web

American Theatre's New Marquee, 1938
Photographed by J.W. Sandison
Whatcom Museum Collection, 3158


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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