Bellingham National 2017 Juried Art Exhibition and Awards @ Whatcom Museum
Exhibition Dates: June 10 – September 10, 2017
Juror: Catharina Manchanda, Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum
Awards: 1st $2,000; 2nd $1,000; 3rd $500; Popular Award $500
Exhibition Title & Theme: Drawing Practice
Bellingham National 2017 Call to Artists

The Whatcom Museum is seeking submissions by artists for whom drawing is an integral conceptual part of their practice. Submissions may be connected to ideas of language, writing, notation, mapping, movement, dance, performance, as well as connections to space and architecture. Drawing practices may involve traditional or non-traditional materials, and can include time-based and site-specific installations or performances.

The flood of images disseminated on the internet, and with it the attendant information overload, invite renewed attention to drawing as a comparably “slow” medium. Traditionally tied to the conception and development of ideas, drawing remained the stepchild to the more durable mediums of painting and sculpture well into the 1960s. The subsequent interest in process and fragment rather than the finished product allowed drawing to assume a far more influential position. In our contemporary moment, drawing practices warrant particular attention as they open new avenues for artistic thought and expression, especially vis-à-vis digital modes of communication and information sharing.

Timeline – 2017:
February 10: Deadline for entries (Apply online at: and search for Bellingham National 2017.)
Week of March 20: Juror’s selection for the Bellingham National 2017 will be announced via email and the CaFÉ website.
May 1 – 19: Shipment of artwork
June 9: Exhibition reception
September 10: Exhibitions closes

Specifications: All two-dimensional artworks should be ready for display with hanging devices, such as 2-rings, included. Upon request by the artist, pins may be used to fasten artwork to the wall. The museum assumes no responsibility, however, for any changes in condition of such pieces over the course of the exhibition. The weight limitation of each crated or packaged work must not exceed 50 lbs. Single-channel videos must be provided on both a USB thumb drive and DVD.

Entry Fee: $35. Secure credit card payments can be made through CaFÉ at Personal checks or money orders will be accepted via mail payable to: Whatcom Museum and mailed to: The Whatcom Museum/Bellingham National 2017, 121 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA, 98225. To guarantee that your images are sent to the juror, all entry fees sent by mail must be received by February 3, 2017.

Submitting Images for Jurying: All entries (images and information) will be accepted through the CaFÉ website. Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ specifications can be found at Media Prep.

1) Each entrant may submit a total of up to four digital images. All art must be original, completed within the last two years, and available through the entire run of the show.

2) Please also attach a current resume and provide an OPTIONAL artist’s statement (no more than 1000 characters in length).

3) Artists interested in submitting videos (single-channel only) for consideration may send video-still jpgs as well as a link to Vimeo or YouTube.

Shipping: Artists will be responsible for all shipping and insurance costs both to and from the Whatcom Museum. The Museum will require prepayment of any shipping/insurance costs for the return of each artwork. Artists will need to include either a prepaid return shipping label or FED EX account number with the incoming shipment. All shipped work must be received between May 1 and May 19, 2017. Detailed instructions will be sent to those artists whose works are accepted by the juror.

About the Whatcom Museum: The Whatcom Museum presents exhibitions of regional, national and international art to an expansive audience. Landmark buildings, innovative exhibitions, and rich program offerings have made the Museum a destination for visitors ranging from Seattle, WA to Vancouver BC. We are located in Bellingham’s growing arts district, which includes the Mt. Baker Theatre, SPARK: the Museum of Electrical Invention, and the Pickford Film Center. The Whatcom Museum is accredited nationally by the American Association of Museums and is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate.

About the Juror: Catharina Manchanda joined the Seattle Art Museum in 2011 as the Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. A native of Germany, she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Stuttgart and her Ph.D. from the City University Graduate Center in New York. Recent exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum include Pop Departures, Miró: the Experience of Seeing, and Big Picture: Art after 1945. She also mounted a series of contemporary projects and site-specific installations by John Luther Adams, Moyra Davey, Harun Farocki, Victoria Haven, Martha Rosler, Guido van der Werve, and others. Prior to her time in Seattle, she worked at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Legal Agreement: The Whatcom Museum assumes responsibility for works only while they are on the premises. We recommend that artists make arrangements to insure artworks during transit. Our professional art handlers will handle and install works with care. Fragile works will be displayed under a vitrine unless otherwise specified by the artist. The Whatcom Museum reserves the right to photograph artworks in the exhibition for publicity and educational purposes. Artists of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Bellingham National 2017 exhibition and events are ADA Compliant.

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition

Each year, the City of Bellingham and the Whatcom Museum sponsor the “Essence of Bellingham” photography competition in the spring. Digital or scanned entries gathered over the previous year that capture the “essence” of Bellingham are showcased and added to a collection documenting Bellingham and the diverse nature of life in our city and county.  Entries may appear in Whatcom Museum and City of Bellingham publications and in various places such as print, TV, and the Internet.

As we transition from film to digital cameras in our society, there are countless images being created digitally.  This competition aims to help preserve these images before they are lost.  The average citizen’s idea of what the “Essence of Bellingham” is will be an invaluable historical asset to this and future generations.

Entry is closed for 2016. Check back in early 2017 for next year’s competition. For more information visit the City of Bellingham’s Essence of Bellingham page.