Bellingham resident Errol Mauler and his pets Nuisance, Sam, and Fluff.

The Pet Show

October 21, 2023 - April 14, 2024

Old City Hall

Errol Mauler, who lived on Wynn Road, had been informed that his house cats could never be trained to do tricks like Sam, his Fox terrier. Undaunted, Errol spent hours teaching Nuisance and Fluff to jump through a hoop, roll over, leap in and out of a box, climb a ladder, and shake hands. In May 1962, the two felines joined Sam to show photographer Jack Carver just how great they were. Errol went on to teach his cat Herbie how to dial a telephone in 1975, an accomplishment that made it into “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” This and other heart-warming images of domestic companions, all from the Whatcom Museum Photo Archives, will appear in a new exhibition, The Pet Show, opening in October on Old City Hall’s first floor.

 

Now add YOUR pet to the show!

Animals have held an indelible place in our hearts for thousands of years. From symbols of divinity in ancient Egypt to trusted companions today, we take as many pictures of our pets as we do of our human family members and friends. (Probably more!) So let’s see ’em! Send us your favorite pet photo, and we’ll include it as part of our digital display in The Pet Show gallery in Old City Hall. Then stop by and see your photo along with our archival images that, together, highlight the pets of Whatcom County.

Photo Submission Guidelines:

  • 3 MB minimum photo preferred
  • One photo per family/submission
  • Please include Owner name(s) and Pet Name(s) (optional)

Photos will be reviewed and added to the gallery slideshow the beginning of each week and will be ready for viewing during the museum’s regular hours, Wednesday – Sunday.

Terms:
By submitting a photo, you agree to its use in both the digital gallery slideshow and on the museum’s social media platforms during the run of the exhibition (October 21, 2023 – April 14, 2024). The museum holds discretion on image selection and will not include any image deemed inappropriate. Appropriate images will be retained for posterity in the museum’s photo archives if submitter includes contact address.

 

 

 


The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.

Share, Like, Create 2023 Student Juried Art Show: Moments of Learning and Growth

October 21, 2023 - April 14, 2024December 1, 2023 - February 25, 2024

Lightcatcher Building

The Whatcom Museum’s first student-juried art show celebrates the artistic achievements of Whatcom County middle and high school artists, whose visual artworks respond to the theme of moments of learning and growth. Thirty-seven works in a variety of mediums ranging from charcoal drawings to digital illustrations, were submitted by students from grades 6-12. The museum’s Youth Advisory Council, consisting of local teens, judged each piece anonymously using a rubric to assign rankings. Congratulations to Raya Stiles of Bellingham High School, 10th grade, for Ignited; Shanti Thapa of Ferndale High School, 12th grade, for Drifting into an Unknown; and Kelsey Welch of Bellingham High School, 12th grade, for The Impenetrable Internal Oasis. These artists have been honored with the top three ranked pieces in their respective categories.

Congratulations to our Share, Like, Create top-ranked pieces!

 


The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.

Light blue background with gold kintsugi type lines along the top with the words "Acts of Healing and Repair" in the center in gold with a circle logo on the left that is a dark teal circle with gold kintsugi lines.

Bellingham National 2023 Juried Art Exhibition

October 21, 2023 - April 14, 2024December 1, 2023 - February 25, 2024November 11, 2023 - February 25, 2024

Lightcatcher Building

The Whatcom Museum presents its fourth biennial juried art exhibition, Bellingham National. Grace Kook-Anderson, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art at the Portland Art Museum, is the guest juror and has selected finalists from among more than 1,000 submitted artworks for a three-month show in the Lightcatcher building. Visual artists from across the United States – both long-established and up & coming – vied for a chance to exhibit their works at the Whatcom Museum and to be considered for one of three Juror’s Choice Awards. Those works span the visual arts, from video, painting, and sculpture to textile and glass, and all reflect the exhibition’s theme of healing and repair.

Over the course of the exhibition, museum visitors can vote for an artwork to receive a People’s Choice Award, to be announced in late February.

Juror’s Choice Award winners were announced at the opening reception on November 11, 2023. All winners will receive a cash prize, and the first-place winner will also receive a future spotlight exhibition at the Whatcom Museum.

1st prize: Io PalmerUnruly Foliage

2nd prize: Federico CuatlacuatlTiemperos del Antropoceno: TEWAME TIYOLICHA KAWITL

3rd prize: Renee Noelle CheesmanPurification of Guilt

A People’s Choice Award will also be announced the last week of the exhibition after visitors have had a chance to cast their votes

 

 

Bellingham National 2023 Invited Artists

Molly Abromitis (WA)

Leah Aegerter (CO)

Liz Alpert Fay (CT)

Saif Alsaegh (CA)

Neville Barbour (MD)

Ashlie Benton (CA)

Neil Berkowitz (WA)

Britt Block (OR)

Lindy Boustedt (WA)

Connie Cagampang Heller (CA)

Federico Cuatlacuatl (VA)

Cynthia Camlin (WA)

Renee Noelle Cheesman (WA)

Margaret Chodos-Irvine (WA)

Jinseok Choi (CA)

Annie Claflin (CA)

Zoë Cohen (OR)

Jo Cosme (WA)

Isabell Daniel (GA)

Devon Dille (WA)

Edie Dillon (AZ)

Julie Sevilla Drake (WA)

Elizabeth Duffy (RI)

Ethan Edward (NY)

Nina Elder (NM)

Lucia Enriquez (WA)

Daniel Esquivia Zapata (AL)

Rheana Gardner (UT)

Audrey Geyer (MI)

Hazel Glass (OR)

Debra Goldman (WA)

Terri Grant (WA)

Lois Harbaugh (WA)

Aisha Harrison (WA)

Andrea Joyce Heimer (WA)

Valerie Hird (VT)

Alex Hirsch (OR)

Kyung Hee Im (WA)

Emma Jones (WA)

Bella Kim (WA)

Epiphany Knedler (SD)

Sheryl Ruth Kolitsopoulos (NY)

Ling-lin Ku (PA)

Betty LaDuke (OR)

Nicki Lang (WA)

Kendra Larson (OR)

Melissa Ling (NY)

Margie Livingston (WA)

Anna Macrae (WA)

Lisa McShane (WA)

Squeak Meisel (WA)

Katie Miller (WA)

Peter Millet (WA)

Eva Montealegre (CA)

Jenene Nagy (CA)

Gabriela Nirino (WA)

Mayowa Nwadike (NY)

Jose Ochoa (IL)

Io Palmer (WA)

Susan Ressler (NM)

Mary Rowland (WA)

Amanda Salov (WA),

Kamran Samimi (HI)

Christine Sauerteig-Pilaar (NJ)

Kristie Severn (WA)

Janet Silver (WA)

Mark Smith (OR)

Sheila Sondik (WA)

Mami Takahashi (OR)

Lena Takamori (WA)

David Tucker (WA)

Audrey Tulimiero Welch (CA)

Sarah Vaughn (NC)

Roberta Wagner (WA)

Alana Walters (PA)

Chansong Woo (AL)


The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.

Museum gallery with abstract paintings hanging on the wall and a pedestal with a black abstract sculpture

Learning to Look

October 21, 2023 - April 14, 2024December 1, 2023 - February 25, 2024November 11, 2023 - February 25, 2024December 17, 2022 - December 31, 2024

Old City Hall

Abstract image with red and green square and circle shapes and two white vase-like objects in the center

John Cole (1936–2007); Untitled Still Life in Red, c. 1974; Oil on canvas; Gift of Lucille Cole. Whatcom Museum Collection, 2019.10.17.

Art isn’t limited to paint on a canvas. We can see it in the natural world, historical objects, and the architecture around us. We all have the tools to appreciate and understand art. In our new permanent exhibition, Learning to Look, you’ll find that art is everywhere, and art is for everyone.

Comprising of artworks from the collection, Learning to Look, is arranged to break art into seven core elements: line, shape, form, texture, value, space, and color. Through question prompts and interactive activities, the exhibition introduces the world of art to visitors of all ages. By learning to look together, we create a richer understanding of art and its place in our world. Stop in the gallery to learn something new or apply your skills as you explore the diverse works of the collection.

The Museum is offering interactive school tours of this exhibition for K-12 students. Educators can reach out to our Education Department to book a tour.

People looking at an exhibition at the Whatcom Museum

People of the Sea and Cedar

October 21, 2023 - April 14, 2024December 1, 2023 - February 25, 2024November 11, 2023 - February 25, 2024December 17, 2022 - December 31, 2024

Lightcatcher Building

 

REOPENING FEBRUARY 2, 2024

 

“ln our tradition, our way of life, everything is a living thing.”

– George Swanaset, Sr., Master Carver and Teacher, Nooksack Indian Tribe

With help from valued advisors and guides, the Whatcom Museum reintroduces People of the Sea and Cedar, a permanent exhibition centering the voices and experiences of the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Indian Tribe.

Through first-person storytelling, photography, art, and artifacts, People of the Sea and Cedar presents both historical and contemporary perspectives about the Indigenous communities that have lived in, cared for, and contributed to this region since time immemorial. The gallery explores Tribal traditions, cultural preservation, fights for recognition and equity, environmental stewardship, and artistic and political contributions.

Visitors will also see works by some of today’s influential Indigenous artists, such as Dan Friday, Louie Gong, Jason LaClair, Marvin Oliver, and Susan Point, as well as Salish story poles, created by Master Carvers Morrie Alexander and Dale James in the 1970s and restored in 2022 by Conservators and Master Carvers Felix M. Solomon and Goo’la Slacoon Ralph Bennett.

We sincerely thank members of the museum’s Indigenous Advisory Committee for sharing their time, knowledge, concerns, and hopes for an exhibition that honors Coast Salish history and cultures.

In addition to the guidance of the Whatcom Museum’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, People of the Sea and Cedar is also made possible by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Humanities Washington, as well as input, audio recordings, and videography from Children of the Setting Sun Productions.


The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.

 

National Endowment for the Humanities logo

Humanities Washington logo

 

John M. Edson Hall of Birds

October 21, 2023 - April 14, 2024December 1, 2023 - February 25, 2024November 11, 2023 - February 25, 2024December 17, 2022 - December 31, 2024

Old City Hall

Opened March 16, 2017; Ongoing; Old City Hall

This exhibit in Old City Hall provides a glimpse into the local history and culture of the Victorian Era, when taxidermy flourished and mounted animals often decorated interior spaces. For the Museum, this collection of birds is also important to the building’s history. If it hadn’t been for John M. Edson, Old City Hall might not be standing here today. While city officials were considering demolishing it, Edson saw an opportunity to not only save the building, but also to create a public museum within its walls. He dreamed of having a permanent home for his bird specimen collection, and the museum became the perfect showcase.

Now, more than 80 years later, the Whatcom Museum has taken this important collection and reinterpreted it as an educational experience. Designed in collaboration with the North Cascades Audubon Society, the exhibit provides opportunities to learn about bird migration, conservation success stories, birds in peril, and the importance of studying bird specimens today. Alongside the interpretive panels and the birds themselves, the Hall of Birds provides a variety of interactive opportunities, including video clips of birds in our local habitats, audio files of Puget Sound-area bird calls, and hands-on activities for children. We look forward to sharing this important collection with visitors for years to come.


The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.

 

partners

Pacific Northwest History

October 21, 2023 - April 14, 2024December 1, 2023 - February 25, 2024November 11, 2023 - February 25, 2024December 17, 2022 - December 31, 2024

Old City Hall

Ongoing; Old City Hall

The Museum’s 1892 Old City Hall building features a variety of exhibits that tell the stories of the building’s architecture, the city’s early days, logging history, and waterfront industry.

Orientation Theater

Get a sense of place, and where we are in this fourth corner of the country, through an audio-visual journey of Old City Hall and the early days of Bellingham. Located on the main level of Old City Hall, in the gallery that was once the first mayor of Bellingham’s office in the late 1890s, you’ll learn a variety of historical facts and trivia.

Green Gold: Logging the Pacific Northwest

Relive the history of logging in our corner of the Pacific Northwest through photographs, artifacts, and stories documenting both the good and the bad of Bellingham’s timber era during the mid- to late- nineteenth century. Historic video footage takes you back to a time when only the sheer strength of the lumberjacks felled the enormous trees. Learn what it took to be a lumberjack, the long days and hard work. Find out what a “road monkey” and a “river rat” did for their jobs.

Maritime History Gallery

Walk into the second floor Allsop Gallery for a lesson on Bellingham’s maritime heritage. From early steam ships, to fisheries, to notable schooners plying the shores of Bellingham Bay, you’ll get a waterfront history overview through photographs, artifacts, interactives, and model ships while looking through the gallery windows to the Bay. See messages visitors have placed in our “Message in a Bottle.” We hope you’ll visit our Maritime Gallery and leave your own message of encouragement.

Model boats from H.C. Hanson designs, created by J.K. “Jim” Young

In 2004, Jim Young visited the Whatcom Museum and learned about the extensive collection of H.C. Hanson original line drawings. Already an experienced model builder, Jim loved the idea of creating intricate, exacting models of vessels that are an important connection to our community. Seven of his Hanson models are now on exhibit, including a fishing trawler, tug, and yacht, all built to scale from the original drawings.

John M. Edson Hall of Birds

Partnering with the North Cascades Audubon Society, this exhibit features our founding collection of more than 500 mounted birds, with interpretation, videos, and hands-on activities highlighting Pacific Northwest flyway zones, migration patterns, habitats, nests, and more.

Learning to Look

Art isn’t limited to paint on a canvas. We can see it in the natural world, historical objects, and the architecture around us. We all have the tools to appreciate and understand art. In Learning to Look, you’ll find that art is everywhere, and art is for everyone. Comprising of artworks from the collection, the exhibition is arranged to break art into seven core elements: line, shape, form, texture, value, space, and color. Through question prompts and interactive activities, the exhibition introduces the world of art to visitors of all ages.