WHATCOM ARTIST STUDIO TOUR JURIED EXHIBITION

August 4 – September 3, 2017, Old City Hall

In anticipation of the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour in October, we’ll be showcasing a variety of artwork in a juried exhibition featuring participating artists. Learn more about the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour at www.studiotour.net.

ART OF THE AMERICAN WEST: THE HAUB FAMILY COLLECTION FROM THE TACOMA ART MUSEUM

October 7, 2017 – January 7, 2018, Lightcatcher

This fall, the Whatcom Museum will feature a selection of artwork on loan from the Tacoma Art Museum, featuring works of western American art. The Haub Family Collection of Western American Art is unrivaled in its scope, and contains artwork spanning from 1790 to today. The collection includes prominent 19th-century artists who shaped our views of Native Americans, mountain men, cowboys, and pristine American landscapes, including George Catlin, John Mix Stanley, Thomas Moran, and Frederic Remington. From the 20th century, the collection includes artists who brought modern art movements west and who explored western history and American identity, such as E. Martin Hennings, Maynard Dixon, Robert Henri, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Learn more about this collection from the Tacoma Art Museum.

This exhibition is supported by the Whatcom Museum Advocates, and Mary Summerfield & Mike O’Neal, with support from the Whatcom Museum Foundation and the City of Bellingham.

ROOTED, REVIVED, REINVENTED: BASKETRY IN AMERICA

Coiled feather basket; Central California (possibly Yokuts), c. 1890. Sumac, devil’s claw, wool, quail feathers, 6 x 8 x 8 in. Lent by Lois Russell. Courtesy of the University of Missouri.

February 3 – May 6, 2018, Lightcatcher

Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America chronicles a history of American basketry from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the contemporary fine art world. Baskets convey meaning through the artists’ selection of materials; the techniques they use; and the colors, designs, patterns, and textures they employ.

Historical baskets were rooted in local landscapes and shaped by cultural traditions. The rise of the industrial revolution and mass production at the end of the nineteenth century led basket makers to create works for new audiences and markets, including tourists, collectors and fine art museums. Today the story continues. Some contemporary artists seek to maintain and revive traditions practiced for centuries. Others combine age-old techniques with nontraditional materials to generate cultural commentary. Still others challenge viewers’ expectations by experimenting with form, materials, and scale. Divided into five sections—Cultural Origins, New Basketry, Living Traditions, Basket as Vessel, and Beyond the Basket—this exhibition of approximately 95 objects has two primary goals: to model how to look at, talk about, and analyze baskets aesthetically, critically and historically; and to contextualize American basketry within art and craft history specifically and American culture generally.

This traveling exhibition is organized by the National Basketry Organization in partnership with the University of Missouri. For more information visit americanbasketry.missouri.edu.