Blue and neon green squiggle designs on a detail of a blown glass bowl.

Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest

April 10 – October 10, 2021; Lightcatcher building

Organized by Amy Chaloupka, Whatcom Museum Curator of Art

Celebrating a rich legacy unique to our region, Fluid Formations features the art of fifty-seven contemporary artists working in glass.

The Pacific Northwest is the epicenter of glass, spurred by the establishment of Pilchuck Glass School on a remote tree farm in Stanwood, Washington in 1971. Fifty years later, the region’s glass community has expanded significantly, defined by shared knowledge, teamwork, and an experimental spirit.

Drawing from the Museum’s permanent collection, loans from artists, and working in close partnership with Museum of Glass (Tacoma, Wash.), Fluid Formations celebrates the innovation and striking range of processes and ideas that could only come from decades of generous exchange and shared passion for the material of glass.

Also on exhibit:

Kids Design Glass is a longstanding program that Museum of Glass has hosted since 2002 where kids aged 12 and under can submit their creative drawings to be transformed into glass sculptures. The Whatcom Museum has several of these kid-designed glass artworks located throughout our campus, including Green Guy, designed by Duncan Noah (age 11) and made by Museum of Glass Hot Shop team members. Come search our buildings and galleries to find all seven!


Gallery Tours with Curator of Art Amy Chaloupka

Thursdays, May 20 (only 12:15pm), June 24, July 22, Aug. 26, Sept. 16, and Oct. 7, 12:15pm and 2pm

Included with admission/Free to members

We’re excited to offer in-person curator tours of Fluid Formations. Learn more about the artists and artwork featured in this stunning exhibition from the Museum’s Curator of Art, Amy Chaloupka, who organized this exhibition in partnership with Museum of Glass, galleries, and individual artists. Tours last one hour, will be limited to six people per tour, and require pre-registration. Participants will need to wear face coverings while visiting the Museum and participating in the tour.


Docent-Led Tours

Thursdays, July 8 (canceled) & 29, Aug. 5, 12, & 19 at 1pm

Included with admission/Free to members

Discover the artists and artwork featured in this exhibition, which celebrates the rich legacy of glass art in our region. Our docents will provide insight into the techniques and processes utilized by artists, focusing on specific works in the exhibition. Tours last one hour.


Artists Featured in Fluid Formations:

Rik Allen, Shelley Muzylowski Allen, Bennett Battaile, Ben Beres, Jeremy Bert, Sonja Blomdahl, Nancy Callan, Ned Cantrell, Sydney Cash, Doris Chase, Dale Chihuly, Benjamin Cobb, Norman Courtney, Amber Cowan, Max Cregar, Erik Demaine, Martin Demaine, Jen Elek, Dan Friday, Ann Gardner, Sarah Gilbert, Suzanne Head, Mildred Howard, Jasen Johnsen, Karen Willendbrink-Johnsen, Claire Kelly, Joey Kirkpatrick, Sabrina Knowles, Walter Lieberman, Beth Lipman, Flora C. Mace, Dante Marioni, Paul Marioni, Richard Marquis, Benjamin Moore, William Morris, Richard Notkin, Kelly O’Dell, Marvin Oliver, Deborah Oropallo, Jenny Pohlman, Kait Rhoads, Joseph Gregory Rossano, Richard Royal, Ginny Ruffner, Preston Singletary, Raven Skyriver, Ethan Stern, April Surgent, Lino Tagliapietra, Cappy Thompson, Oiva Toikka, Norwood Viviano, Randy Walker, Dick Weiss, Erich Woll, Ellen Ziegler

Reciprocal membership with Museum of Glass (Tacoma, WA)

In honor of this exhibition, Museum of Glass and the Whatcom Museum are offering reciprocal membership benefits for free entry. Museum of Glass members can receive free admission to the Whatcom Museum and 10% off purchases at the Museum Store by presenting a current Museum of Glass membership card at the front admission desks. Whatcom Museum members can receive free entry to Museum of Glass by showing their membership card at the admission desks. For more info about Museum of Glass hours of operation, please visit their website.


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.

The Whatcom Museum is offering free admission to the Lightcatcher building to Indigenous Peoples upon request at the attendant desk inside the Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora St.

This exhibition is organized in partnership with Museum of Glass and is supported in part by Peoples Bank, the Whatcom Museum Foundation, the City of Bellingham, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Media sponsorship provided by Cascade Public Media KCTS9.

partners