Four women look at a tall sculpture and artwork on a wall inside a gallery.

A volunteer docent offers a guided tour of the exhibition, “Many Wests” at the Lightcatcher building.

Looking for insights into contemporary art? Need a review of art appreciation 101?  Want to know more about a specific artist or technique featured in an exhibition? Take a docent-led tour! Docents are gifted tour guides eager to share their knowledge in informal, interactive hour-long tours. This is a terrific way to learn more about art and history while you visit.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Docent-led tours last one hour.
  • Reservations are no longer needed, we’ll accommodate all walk-ins.
  • Tours begin in the lobby of the Lightcatcher building.
  • Payment will be processed at the time of arrival.
  • Tour bookings are free to members/included with admission for non-members.

Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea

Docent Tours:

Thursdays and Saturdays, 1 – 2pm, beginning March 24

Included with admission/Members free

Take a docent-guided tour of Many Wests to gain in-depth insights and knowledge about the themes, artists, and works featured in this exhibition. The exhibition examines the perspectives of 48 modern and contemporary artists who offer a broader and more inclusive view of the West beyond how it is often narrowly represented in popular culture and through dominant historical narratives. Docent tours are on a walk-in basis and no longer require pre-registration. Tours begin in the lobby of the Lightcatcher and last one hour.

Youth Docent Tours:

Fridays, 4 – 5pm (Except April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, and August 5)

Included with admission/Members free

This spring, the Museum debuted a youth docent program involving high-school students who are building skills and confidence in discussing art, culture, and current events through tours of Many Wests. Tours feature the unique perspectives of the youth docents, who share about the artwork that inspires them in the exhibition. Tours begin in the lobby of the Lightcatcher and last one hour. Generous support for this program provided by Art Bridges.

Curator Tours with Amy Chaloupka:

Fridays, April 1, May 6, & June 3, 1 – 2pm

Included with admission/Members free

Learn more about the artists and artwork featured in Many Wests from the Museum’s Curator of Art, Amy Chaloupka, who organized this exhibition in collaboration with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and three other art museums from the West. Curator tours are on a walk-in basis and no longer require pre-registration. Tours begin in the lobby of the Lightcatcher and last one hour.

Old City Hall History Tours

Sundays, 1 – 2pm, beginning May 29

Tours begin at the attendant desk at Old City Hall

Included with admission/Members free

We’re excited to bring back our weekly history tours of Old City Hall after a two-year hiatus! Take a fun, informative tour with our trained docents. They will take participants through the building and down to the basement of Old City Hall to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. Our docents will give an overview about the architecture of the venerable building, as well as the history of the early days of Bellingham. Participants will learn fun facts, quirky trivia, and unique stories about some of the characters who worked in and visited the building. Tours last one hour and begin on the first-floor lobby of Old City Hall. Masks are encouraged, though not required.

Virtual Tours:

Visit the Museum’s YouTube channel for a variety of docent and curator-narrated virtual exhibition tours.

Private Docent-Led Tours

Tour Old City Hall and the Lightcatcher gallery exhibitions through a private, pre-scheduled tour. Private tours are $15/person for non-members and $5/person for members. Email our docent coordinator to schedule a tour.

Become a Docent Tour Guide

Are you a life-long learner who loves art and history, enjoys interacting with the public, and wants to make a contribution to our community? Our docent tour program may be just for you! The Whatcom Museum offers periodic training for our docent program. If you would like to be added to our waiting list send us an email.