Monday, August 22, 2016

Field Trip: Whatcom Museum

Saturday when the heat got to be too much and we were feeling uninspired, I figured out a place to go that would take care of us on two counts…
Main Gallery with Installations

We have a lovely museum here in town that has not always been on my radar. When Steve and I lived in Seattle we were members of SAM and even got engaged there! (this was the era before social media…so no sweet photos to dig up unfortunately!) I have had a love of art  that included study in college, and Steve has always been up for an exhibit and to check things out. So you'd think that we would see what the situation held in Bellingham the minute we got here. Sadly, that hasn't been the case. Sure, we have taken part in Art Walks, visited the Galleries, etc. But making the Art Museum here in town a priority hasn't happened. Until now. 

Me with Installation by Ashley V. Blalock

 The Whatcom Museum occupies three building with two having regular hours and being so different visually they are worth the visit in their own right. When you pay admission at one, you are granted access to both. 

Samantha with piece by Elizabeth Gahan

So, Samantha and I first visited the Lightcatcher building to see the Colorfast Installations. It left us breathless. I can't even tell you how something seemingly so simple, and of such basic materials could be so moving. Each installation being made for the space made them even more special. And each one begged for a photo full of color! This being a town full of active, outdoor types we honestly had the place to ourselves barring a few others. It was a colorful, quiet and cool heaven! 

Having the inclusion of video of all the artists talking about their intentions and process made the enjoyment of the art even better. We took our time wandering and taking it in. 

Samantha in the Just Woman Gallery 

And then being able to visit the exhibit Just Women of art made by all women left us both feeling even more inspired. Samantha is feeling ready to tackle some larger pieces of artwork after visiting both exhibits. And I'm feeling edified by seeing the impact of women in art and in the world at large. 

View of Old City Hall Building from the roof of the Lightcatcher
With a quick walk down the block we were in the gorgeous and historic Old City Hall, a Bellingham  landmark, viewing Nostalgic Separation: Mid-Century Bellingham in Historic Color. This exhibit of photos from Bellingham ranging in time from the 1940's thru the 1960's inspired in a different way. It makes me think about the photos we keep, and the ones we don't. The ones that we edit, and the ones that we crop. And it was another reminder to print more and get them off our phones and printed to treasure. 

Photo from Nostalgic Separation Show

We left feeling edified, inspired and ready to create. And also left feeling spoiled that we have such a resource at our disposal.We are planning to become members in the near future to keep a hand in the doings of this remarkable part of our city life. 

Nostalgic Saturation is an ongoing show, while Just Women ends on September 4th. Colorfast is running thru September 18th. So if you get the chance to go share your photos with me & the museum! 

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