For media inquiries, to arrange interviews, or to obtain images, please contact:
Christina Claassen, Marketing & Public Relations Manager, 360-778-8936.

TWO DIFFERENT, UNIQUE EXHIBITIONS HIGHLIGHT CALIFORNIA ARTIST DIEBENKORN, NATIVE PRINTMAKERS

Richard Diebenkorn; Untitled, c.1988-92; Gouache, pasted paper, graphite, and crayon on paper, 9 1/2 x 6 3/8 in. (24.1 x 16.2 cm). Catalogue raisonné no. 4695 © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bellingham, WA, March 26, 2018—The Whatcom Museum is pleased to host two traveling exhibitions that feature distinct styles from renowned artists. The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper 1949-1992, organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, features drawings and paintings on paper by this important modernist who lived from 1922-1993. Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25, organized by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in partnership with the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, chronicles the history of one of the most important Native printmaking ateliers in the country. Both exhibitions will be on display at the Museum’s Lightcatcher building May 19 – August 19, 2018.

The Intimate Diebenkorn presents drawings, watercolors, oils, and gouaches on paper, showing the artist’s stylistic evolution through more than 40 years of his work. Richard Diebenkorn was an internationally-acclaimed California artist whose work is associated with Abstract Expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. He earned a reputation for creating ethereal, large-scale abstractions, though he returned to smaller formats in his final years. The artist interpreted landscapes and human figures in a unique way, creating a delicate balance between abstraction and representation.

“We are very excited to be bringing this exhibition from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, especially at a time when a larger, more extensive traveling exhibition of his work is making its way around the country,” said Patricia Leach, Executive Director of the Whatcom Museum. “Although Richard Diebenkorn is mainly recognized as a California artist, he was born in Portland, Ore., so it is nice that we can claim him as a Pacific Northwest artist too!”

Diebenkorn’s artwork, created during periods living and teaching in New Mexico and California, “are the works of a modern master,” as noted by Chester Arnold, Sonoma-based painter and curator of The Intimate Diebenkorn. His personal experiences, especially the California landscape, shaped his style, perspective, and career.

Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25 features 75 prints drawn from the Crow’s Shadow Print Archive. Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts is a nationally recognized printmaking studio, and the only studio located on a reservation community in the United States. Sited on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon, the studio brings together Native and non-Native artists from around the world to make prints under the guidance and direction of master printmaker Frank Janzen.

Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke, b. 1981); iilaalée = car (goes by itself) + ii = by means of which + dáanniili = we parade 2015, ed. 20; Nine-color lithograph on Somerset Satin white paper with chine-collé archival pigment ink photographs on Moab Entrada paper, 24 x 38 in. Courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts.

“The Whatcom Museum is both pleased and proud to be bringing works from this well-established press,” said Leach. “Many of the artists represented are recognized contemporary Native American and Indigenous Artists.”

The artwork in Crow’s Shadow focuses on themes of abstraction, landscape, media and process, portraiture, and words and image. The exhibition includes text panels, chat panels, and a video that highlights the history and location of the studio. Featured artists include Rick Bartow (Wiyot), Pat Boas (US), Joe Feddersen (Colville Confederated Tribes), Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne), Brenda Mallory (Cherokee), Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke), and Marie Watt (Seneca), among others.

The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper 1949-1992 is organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, Berkeley, California, with additional support provided by the Whatcom Museum Advocates, the Whatcom Museum Foundation, and the City of Bellingham. Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25 is organized by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in partnership with the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, with additional support provided by Mary Summerfield and Mike O’Neal, the Whatcom Museum Advocates, the Whatcom Museum Foundation, and the City of Bellingham. Both exhibitions will be on view through August 19, 2018 at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street. The member reception will take place Friday, May 18, 5 – 7 PM at the Lightcatcher building.



WHATCOM MUSEUM RECEIVES REACCREDITATION FROM THE AMERICAN ALLIANCE OF MUSEUMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bellingham, WA, March 19, 2018—The American Alliance of Museums has announced that the Whatcom Museum has earned reaccreditation by the Alliance’s Accreditation Commission. Only three percent of museums in the United States are accredited by the Alliance. Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, 1,070 are currently accredited.

Through a rigorous process of self-assessment and review by industry peers, the Whatcom Museum has demonstrated it has met standards and best practices set by the Alliance, and shown itself to be a good steward of the collections and resources it holds in the public trust, as well as a core educational entity for the community and beyond.

“The Whatcom Museum was last reaccredited long before the construction of the Lightcatcher building, and many practices and policies were in need of being updated to today’s standards,” said Executive Director Patricia Leach. “We have been working for several years to prepare for this, and our professional staff and board have worked intensely in the past year to complete our self-study. So much work is invisible to the public, but what is evident is the result of that hard work in the many new permanent exhibitions at Old City Hall, as well as the ‘People of the Sea and Cedar’ exhibition in the Lightcatcher. It is both an honor and a relief that we have achieved this status.”

As the ultimate mark of distinction in the museum field, accreditation signifies excellence and credibility to the entire museum community, to governments and outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for more than 45 years, the museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. Accreditation helps to ensure the integrity and accessibility of museum collections, reinforce the educational and public service roles of museums, and promote good governance practices and ethical behavior.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

To earn accreditation the Whatcom Museum submitted an extensive Self-Study and key operational documents for evaluation in 2017. Last November, a two-person team of peer reviewers conducted a site visit to further evaluate the Museum’s practices. The Accreditation Commission considered the results to determine whether the Whatcom Museum should receive reaccreditation, and the Commission just announced that the Museum has earned reaccreditation. The Whatcom Museum was last reaccredited by the Alliance in 2003.

About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community.  For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.



THOUGHT-PROVOKING EXHIBITION TO EXPLORE ENDANGERED SPECIES AND BIODIVERSITY

Isabella Kirkland; Gone, from the Taxa series, 2004; (63 species made extinct by human activities since 1700 and the colonization of the New World). Oil and alkyd on canvas over panel; 48 x 36 in. Private Collection.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bellingham, WA, January 30, 2018—The Whatcom Museum presents Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity, an interdisciplinary exhibition featuring 80 works of art, from rare books to cutting edge video, that span the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. It opens September 8, 2018 in the Museum’s Lightcatcher building and closes January 6, 2019.

Endangered Species highlights an international group of 52 artists who celebrate biodiversity’s beauty, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on species from diverse ecosystems under stress. It also includes the work of artists who spotlight the human activities that threaten biodiversity alongside projects that revitalize habitats and reconnect people to the rich tapestry of life.

“We often read news headlines with alarming statistics and then turn the page,” said Barbara Matilsky, exhibition curator and Curator of Art at the Whatcom Museum. “Artists take this information and create images that inspire emotional and thought-provoking responses. Hopefully, ‘Endangered Species’ will stimulate visitors to help preserve the planet and its biodiversity.”

Exhibition spotlights important thematic concepts
The first theme, Celebrating Biodiversity’s Beauty and Complexity: From Landscapes to Microscopic Imagery, focuses on artists who illuminate biodiversity’s stunning variety on its most grand and intimate scales. By examining the shared practices that inspire artists and natural scientists, such as exploration, observation, and documentation, visitors can learn what biodiversity is about and why it is important.

The second theme, Mammoths and Dinosaurs: Interpreting Natural Extinction, introduces the concept of the complete loss of an animal or plant species. When natural scientists first discovered fossils of early life, nineteenth century artists presented convincing visions of animals roaming primeval habitats in best-selling natural history books and panoramic murals commissioned by museums. The exhibition will showcase illustrated books and preliminary paintings for these majestic landscapes.

In the third theme, Portraits of Loss: Extinction by Human Actions, visitors can explore how artists transform scientific documentation about early human-induced extinctions of the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon, among others, into stirring portraits and still life paintings. Their artworks reflect meticulous research and analysis of specimens from natural history museum collections. By reviving past life in sometimes startling ways, artists imprint their memory on our consciousness and spark awareness about the contemporary extinction crisis.

The plants and animals interpreted by artists in the fourth theme, Endangered Species: Plants and Animals on the Edge of Survival, symbolize the threatened ecosystems in which they live and the global decline of biodiversity. The artworks call attention to just a few of the 10,000 “endangered” and “critically endangered” species classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. An illustrated timeline highlighting conservation milestones will be exhibited here.

Contemporary artists not only portray animal and plant species at risk, they also interpret the human actions that lead to their precarious status: habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, population growth, and overhunting and fishing. These issues will be explored in the final theme, At the Crossroads: Destruction or Preservation of Biodiversity. Within this area, the challenges facing several biodiversity hotspots, such as tropical rainforests and coral reefs, will be highlighted.

An uplifting narrative is interwoven throughout this section by including examples of how artists collaborate across disciplines to revive habitats and engage humans with the natural world. These multi-media projects serve as inspiring models for individual and community grass roots efforts towards environmental restoration and education.

Endangered Species has been organized with the intent of impacting public discourse about biodiversity while advancing the artist’s pivotal role in building awareness. By tracing links between contemporary and earlier artists, the exhibition examines art’s contribution to an enduring cultural legacy of nature conservation.

Featured artists include John James Audubon, Brandon Ballengée, Nick Brandt, Edward Burtynsky, George Catlin, Catherine Chalmers, Mark Dion, Madeline von Foerster, Nicholas Galanin, Ernst Haeckel, Martin Johnson Heade, Patricia Johanson, Chris Jordan, Isabella Kirkland, Charles R. Knight, David Liittschwager, John Martin, Courtney Mattison, Susan Middleton, Alexis Rockman, Christy Rupp, Joel Sartore, Preston Singletary, Fred Tomaselli, Roman Vishniac, Andy Warhol, and Yang Yongliang, among many others. A full list of artists can be viewed on the exhibition webpage. A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity is supported by major grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and The Norcliffe Foundation, with additional funding from the Whatcom Museum Advocates, the Whatcom Museum Foundation, and the City of Bellingham. The exhibition opens September 8, 2018 and extends through January 6, 2019 in the Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street, Bellingham, Wash.

VIEW press images. Images available upon request by contacting Christina Claassen, Marketing & PR Manager, cmclaassen@cob.org, 360.778.8936.



MUSEUM TO EXHIBIT STUNNING GEMS AND JEWELRY FROM SMITHSONIAN’S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

John Sinkankas; Quartz Egg with Stand; Quartz egg with faceted corundum. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bellingham, WA, January 10, 2018—The Whatcom Museum is pleased to host a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Jeweled Objects of Desire: From Ordinary to Extraordinary. This exhibition, showing February 3 – May 6, 2018 at the Lightcatcher building will dazzle visitors of all ages, as it features rarely seen items from the vaults of the National Museum of Natural History.

Each piece in this exhibition demonstrates the skill and ingenuity of various artists who transform simple materials into striking treasures. Whether it is a faceted quartz crystal egg, a gem-studded fishing reel, a gold seahorse pin, or a gold mouse trap with a diamond-encrusted cheese wedge, each of these creations irresistibly attracts attention and appeals to the imagination, encouraging visitors to think about why and how each work was made.

“As part of our affiliation with the Smithsonian, we are delighted to bring Jeweled Objects of Desire to Bellingham,” said Patricia Leach, Executive Director of the Whatcom Museum. “It is our first time collaborating with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and is a wonderful opportunity for our community to gain greater access to some of the Smithsonian’s extraordinary collections. In the exhibition, these precious stones ordinarily found in the geology of our planet are transformed into jeweled works of art.”

Presenting uncut examples of precious materials such as jade, amethyst, and quartz alongside the artistry of man-made objects, Jeweled Objects of Desire celebrates the beauty of stones found deep within the earth. Highlights of the exhibition include a 7,000 carat quartz egg from Brazil, containing 240 facets (or surfaces) and resting on a gold stand embellished with 16 small and four large sapphires; a freshwater pearl corncob with 18-karat gold husk, inspired by the importance corn played in Incan society; and a 14-karat gold sardine can studded with Russian diamonds.

This exhibition features the work of a number of artists, but also includes a selection of artwork by internationally renowned jewelry designer Sidney Mobell. Mobell is celebrated for crafting common utilitarian items into unique artworks through the use of gold and precious gemstones. Among the spectacular works on view are a 14-karat gold cell phone encrusted with more than 250 gems and a golden mail box studded with 76.70 carats of precious and semi-precious stones.

Jeweled Objects of Desire is sponsored by Smith & Vallee Gallery, the Whatcom Museum Advocates, the Whatcom Museum Foundation, and the City of Bellingham, and will be on view through May 6, 2018 at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street. The member reception will take place Friday, February 2, 5 – 7 PM at the Lightcatcher building. Opening concurrently at the Lightcatcher is the exhibition Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America.



BASKETRY EXHIBITIONS SHOWCASE DIVERSITY OF ARTFORM

Dorothy McGuinness; Satellite, 2012. Watercolor paper, acrylic paint, waxed linen thread, 12 x 15 x 12 in. Lent by the artist. Courtesy of the University of Missouri.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bellingham, WA, December 1, 2017 —The Whatcom Museum is pleased to host a traveling exhibition, Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America, February 3 – May 6, 2018 at the Lightcatcher building in collaboration with the National Basketry Organization and the Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri. This is the only West Coast venue of this exhibition. The Museum will also showcase two concurrent basketry exhibitions at Old City Hall from February 3 – May 6, 2018: Hidden in the Bundle: A Look Inside the Whatcom Museum’s Basketry Collection, and a juried exhibition, Gathered Together: A Show of Work Celebrating Members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild.

In Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America, ninety-three objects provide an historical overview of American basketry from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the contemporary fine art world. Historical baskets were rooted in local landscapes and shaped by cultural traditions. The rise of the industrial revolution and mass production at the end of the nineteenth century led basket makers to create works for new audiences and markets, including tourists, collectors, and fine art museums.

Today the story continues. Some contemporary artists seek to maintain and revive traditions practiced for centuries. Others combine age-old techniques with nontraditional materials to generate cultural commentary. Still others challenge viewers’ expectations by experimenting with form, materials, and scale.

According to co-curators Jo Stealey and Kristin Schwain, “Baskets convey meaning through the artists’ selection of materials; the techniques they use; and the colors, designs, patterns, and textures they employ. This exhibition will feel both familiar and alien to visitors. Some objects are very utilitarian while others defy every idea you might have about what a basket could be.”

This traveling exhibition is sponsored by the Northwest Basket Weavers, Vi Phillips Guild and organized by the National Basketry Organization in partnership with the University of Missouri. For more information visit americanbasketry.missouri.edu. Additional support is provided by the City of Bellingham and the Whatcom Museum Advocates.

Hidden in the Bundle features a selection of baskets from the Whatcom Museum’s extensive Native American and First Nations collection. Representing different eras and cultures, the baskets showcase some unique, innovative, and even playful elements of design or decoration. The viewer can explore these creative and practical adaptations while pondering the role of individual expression in the world of basket-making.

Gathered Together presents a selection of artistic basketry at Old City Hall by members of the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild (NWBW) in an exhibition juried by Lisa Telford and Katherine Lewis, artists featured in Rooted, Revived, Reinvented. Members of NWBW will be available on opening day to talk about basketry and the artwork on display.

About the Northwest Weavers, Vi Phillips Guild
The Northwest Basket Weavers, Vi Phillips Guild began with a group of 16 people who loved to get together at Vi Phillips’ house on Whidbey Island, Washington to make baskets and share information. These weavers used reed, cedar bark and root, sweet grass, pine needles, and other natural materials to make traditional baskets. Thirty-five years later, the 180 guild members today weave both traditional and contemporary baskets. Several members are nationally known teachers and artists, who have baskets featured in Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America. For more information visit www.nwbasketweavers.org.

About the National Basketry Organization
The National Basketry Organization (NBO) is a non-profit organization that unites people interested in basketry to provide education and to promote basket making. Founded in the late 1990’s, the organization now has over 700 members, most of whom live in the United States and Canada. Although most of NBO’s members are basket makers, membership includes collectors, gallery owners, scholars, craft and art schools, and museums.

About the Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri
The Museum of Art and Archaeology advances understanding of artistic and cultural heritage through research, collection and interpretation. The Museum helps students, scholars, and the broader community to experience authentic and significant art and artifacts firsthand, and to place them in meaningful contexts. It furthers this mission by preserving, enhancing, and providing access to the collections for the benefit of present and future generations.



BELLINGHAM NATIONAL 2017 JURIED ART EXHIBITION AND AWARDS POPULAR CHOICE WINNER ANNOUNCED

Jenna Lynch, Mahopac, NY; Traveling Within, Feeling Through, Dreaming Beyond; The Lines. Watercolor on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 6, 2017, Bellingham, WA—-The Whatcom Museum is pleased to announce the popular choice winner for the exhibition Bellingham National 2017 Juried Art Exhibition and Awards. Artist Jenna Lynch, Mahopac, NY, was chosen as the winning artist for her installation, Traveling Within, Feeling Through, Dreaming Beyond: The Lines. Lynch will receive a $500 cash award.

Lynch’s artist statement says, “To create my drawing series, Traveling Between, Feeling Through, Dreaming Beyond: The Lines, I became a cartographer. I mapped my travels to various locations using colorful lines. Numerous watercolor tags document the places I have explored since 1999 including several states, and numerous European, Middle Eastern, and African countries. A few years ago, I began creating new linear systems for places I hope to visit, from Iceland to Iran. My drawing series also includes places I will never experience, from the surface of the moon and Venus to a landscape painted by Renoir, because when I imagine them, I feel restored.”

Bellingham National celebrates drawing in a wide variety of media and forms. Guest curator/juror, Catharina Manchanda, the Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Seattle Art Museum, proposed the thematic idea for this exhibition and selected work that expanded the boundaries of traditional drawing. While the artists in this exhibition work in a variety of media, the pieces selected represent a range of approaches to drawing, including narrative and representational modes, notation, transcription, mapping, and deconstruction.



THE WHATCOM MUSEUM RECEIVES $60,000 GRANT FROM NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS IN SUPPORT OF ENDANGERED SPECIES EXHIBITION

Isabella Kirkland; Gone, from the Taxa series, 2004; (63 species made extinct by human activities since 1700 and the colonization of the New World). Oil and alkyd on canvas over panel; 48 x 36 in. Private Collection.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bellingham, WA, September 5, 2017 —The Whatcom Museum has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in support of the upcoming exhibition, Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity, which will be on exhibit September 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019 in the Lightcatcher building. The grant will assist the Museum in funding the loan of artworks from around the world, educational programming, and an exhibition catalogue. Endangered Species will explore artwork created by 50 artists who interpret the fragile balance of life on Earth through a wide range of media.

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017—a significant win for the arts during a time when NEA funding was at risk of federal budget cuts this year. (The NEA is proposed for elimination under the president’s 2018 budget.) Included in this announcement is the Art Works award of $60,000 to the Whatcom Museum, which was the highest amount given to a museum exhibition.

“The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as the Whatcom Museum, in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”

As the only funder in the country to support arts activities in all 50 states and five US jurisdictions, this NEA funding round includes partnerships with state, jurisdictional, and regional arts agencies. Competition for NEA grants is significant, and the agency received 2,063 eligible applications. The value of NEA funding is not only its monetary impact, but also its reputation, as an NEA grant confers a seal of approval, allowing an organization to attract other public and private funds. The Art Works award is the NEA’s largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and made 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

“The Whatcom Museum upholds the highest of best practices in the museology field, as an American Alliance of Museums accredited museum, and we are proud to receive this important funding in support of a topic that will highly resonate with our audiences in the Pacific Northwest,” said Patricia Leach, Executive Director of the Whatcom Museum. “Endangered Species will allow people of all ages to better understand the history and ongoing struggle for survival of plant and animal life through the works of these amazing artists, and hopefully make a lasting impression of what we can do to help make a better future for our environment.”

Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity presents 70 works of art in all media, from rare books to cutting-edge video, that span the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries. It highlights artists who celebrate biodiversity’s exquisite complexity, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on endangered species from diverse ecosystems. The exhibition explores art’s historic role in raising public awareness about the human activities that threaten habitats. Weaving together art, natural science, and conservation, “Endangered Species” also features creative solutions by ecological artists who revitalize habitats and reconnect people to the rich tapestry of life. Featured artists include John James Audubon, Brandon Ballengée, Nick Brandt, Edward Burtynsky, George Catlin, Mark Dion, Madeline von Foerster, Nicholas Galanin, Ernst Haeckel, Patricia Johanson, Isabella Kirkland, David Liitschwager, Courtney Mattison, Alexis Rockman, Joel Sartore, Fred Tomaselli, and Andy Warhol, among many others.

“We often read news headlines with alarming statistics—60% of the world’s primates, including apes, lemurs and monkeys, face extinction—and then turn the page,” said Barbara Matilsky, exhibition curator, and Curator of Art at the Whatcom Museum. “Artists take this information and create imagery that inspires emotional and thought-provoking responses. They also collaborate with natural scientists and communities on ecological artworks that serve as models for revitalizing land and water-based biodiversity in urban and rural areas. Hopefully, Endangered Species will stimulate visitors to join with artists, scientists, and conservationists in preserving life’s biodiversity.”

Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity is supported by a major grant from The Norcliffe Foundation, with additional funding from the Whatcom Museum Foundation and the City of Bellingham. The exhibition will open September 8, 2018 and will be shown through January 6, 2019 in the Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street, Bellingham, Wash.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit www.arts.gov.



WHATCOM MUSEUM SHOWCASES WESTERN AMERICAN ART FROM TACOMA ART MUSEUM’S HAUB FAMILY COLLECTION

Edgar Payne (American, 1883 – 1947); Desert Clouds, circa 1930; Oil on canvas; 20 x 24 in. Courtesy of the Tacoma Art Museum, Haub Family Collection, Gift of Erivan and Helga Haub, 2015.29.11.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 5, 2017; Bellingham, WA—This fall, the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., will present 75 artworks on loan from the Tacoma Art Museum, featuring works of western American art, including bronze sculptures and paintings. Art of the American West: Highlights of the Haub Family Collection from the Tacoma Art Museum will be on exhibit at the Lightcatcher building September 30, 2017 – January 7, 2018. This collection of western American art is unrivaled in its scope in the Pacific Northwest.

“Western American Art is enjoying a huge resurgence in the country,” said Patricia Leach, Executive Director of the Whatcom Museum. “This is the first time the Haub Family Collection is on loan from the Tacoma Art Museum, and we believe this exhibition is going to ‘wow’ our visitors.”

Art of the American West includes prominent nineteenth-century artists who influenced views of Native Americans, mountain men, cowboys, and pristine American landscapes, including Henry Inman, Paul Kane, John Mix Stanley, and Charles M. Russell. From the twentieth century, the exhibition includes artists who brought modern art movements west and who explored western history and American identity, such as Maynard Dixon, E. Martin Hennings, Robert Henri, and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as artists who are active and working today. Contemporary Native American artists John Nieto and Kevin Red Star take a fresh approach and portray Native American culture in a modern light, and pop artist Bill Schenck uses humor and satire to challenge long-held assumptions about the American West.

The artworks in the exhibition examine ideas of American identity over time, delve into storytelling and myth-making, and explore the vast American landscape. Visitors will see how concepts of the West, both real and imagined, have continually changed and evolved, and still influence people today.

“Tacoma Art Museum is thrilled that the Haub Family Collection is traveling to the Whatcom Museum. The 75 works in the exhibition span nearly two hundred years of American art history and are sure to impress visitors who can explore the portrayals—both real and imagined—of our iconic region,” said Faith Brower, Haub Curator of Western American Art at Tacoma Art Museum.

About the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art
In July 2012, Tacoma Art Museum announced the largest gift in the museum’s history by Erivan and Helga Haub of 295 western American works of art from their private collection. The donation has transformed Tacoma Art Museum into one of the leading museums in the country featuring western American art. The collection enables the Tacoma Art Museum to fully explore the art history of the West. Together with its Northwest collection, the museum offers a comprehensive understanding of the Northwest region as part of the expanded history of the West, and illuminates how that broad history has shaped regional artistic responses. For more information, visit www.tacomaartmuseum.org.

Art of the American West: Highlights of the Haub Family Collection from the Tacoma Art Museum was organized by Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Wash. This exhibition is supported by Mary Summerfield & Mike O’Neal, Patti & Frank Imhof, Sue Lobland, the Whatcom Museum Advocates, the Whatcom Museum Foundation, and the City of Bellingham.



WHATCOM MUSEUM HOSTS WHATCOM ARTIST STUDIO TOUR EXHIBITION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31, 2017; Bellingham, WA—The Whatcom Museum is hosting the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour exhibition, August 4 – September 3, 2017 at Old City Hall. In anticipation of the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour in October, the Museum will be showcasing a diversity of artwork by participating artists in a variety of media. The exhibition will open on Friday, August 4, during Downtown Art Walk.

Brian O'Neill; Black/White V Bottle w/Flange. Mid-fire stoneware.

Brian O’Neill; Black/White V bottle with flange. Mid-fire stoneware. Courtesy of the artist.

The Whatcom Artist Studio Tour is a free, juried event offering an opportunity to meet the region’s finest artists in their own creative spaces. In its twenty-third year, the Tour features 44 artists working in eleven different media, showing their work throughout Bellingham and Whatcom County.

These diverse artists open their studios to the public October 7 – 8 and 14 – 15. Visitors can meet the artists and get a glimpse into their creative processes. A free guide can be picked up at the Whatcom Museum, as well as at many local businesses, to help visitors plan their route and visit the studios. It’s also a chance for the community to purchase fine art directly from artists. To learn more about the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour and to see a list of participating artists, visit www.studiotour.net.

The community is invited to the opening of the exhibition during the Downtown Bellingham Art Walk, Friday, August 4, 6 – 10pm at Old City Hall, 121 Prospect Street. Admission is free for this event.

About the Whatcom Museum
The Whatcom Museum offers a variety of exhibitions, programs, tours, and activities about art, nature, and Northwest history for all ages. Its multi-building campus is located in the heart of Bellingham’s downtown art district. Whatcom Artist Studio Tour exhibition will be on view August 4 – September 3, 2017 in Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Old City Hall is open Wednesdays – Sundays, Noon – 5 PM.



NEW EXHIBIT AT THE LIGHTCATCHER SHARES THE HISTORY AND ART OF THE NORTHWEST COAST TRIBES

Photo by Kiser Photo Co., Whatcom Museum #1946.24.27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bellingham, WA, July 5, 2017 — A newly redesigned gallery in the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building shares the art, history, and culture of the Northwest Coast people, blending both historical and contemporary perspectives. The exhibit, People of the Sea and Cedar: A Journey through the Tribal Cultures and History of the Northwest Coast, opens Saturday, July 15, noon-5pm in the second floor gallery of the Lightcatcher.

Featuring artifacts from the Museum’s collection, such as Coast Salish artwork and carvings, woven blankets, hand-made tools, clothing, baskets, and cedar hats, the exhibit will show some of the traditional crafts created by the Northwest Coast people. Visitors will have opportunities to learn about the traditions, languages, and stories of these tribes.

“The Whatcom Museum hasn’t had a permanent presence of Coast Salish culture and history, past and present,” said Patricia Leach, Executive Director of the Whatcom Museum. “Now that our state legislature has mandated the teaching of native cultures in our schools, the timing on the creation of this new gallery space couldn’t be better. The Museum is excited to be enhancing the education of our local school children with the ‘People of the Sea and Cedar’ school program, which will actually take place in the new gallery.”

The Whatcom Museum has been offering its popular “People of the Sea and Cedar” program to Bellingham and Whatcom County students for more than 20 years. The new exhibit enhances the school program, which is being redesigned by the Museum education staff and will be in place this fall.

With input provided by tribal representatives, researchers, and educators, the Museum presents an experiential exhibit. People of the Sea and Cedar provides hands-on learning experiences, a Lummi and Nooksack language interactive, and videos showcasing Lummi and Nooksack weavers and carvers. Themes of cultural knowledge, art and symbolism, lifestyles, and community will present the Northwest Coast tribes as vibrant, living cultures who honor their past while building cultural and economic futures for their people.

People of the Sea and Cedar: A Journey through the Tribal Cultures and History of the Northwest Coast will be a permanent exhibit, which will be continually developed with rotating art and artifacts in the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora Street. Through its Smithsonian Affiliation, the Museum plans to borrow artifacts from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in future years.

Members are invited to a members-only preview on Fri., July 14, 5-7pm in the Lightcatcher. The public opening on Sat., July 15, noon-5pm will include storytelling by Nooksack storyteller Tamara Cooper-Woodrich from 1-1:30pm in the Lightcatcher.