JOHN M. EDSON HALL OF BIRDS

The John M. Edson Hall of Birds includes an example of what amateur ornithologist Edson’s study would have looked like in the 1930s and ’40s.

Opens March 16, 2017, Old City Hall

This new exhibit in Old City Hall provides a glimpse into the local history and culture of the Victorian Era, when taxidermy flourished and mounted animals often decorated interior spaces. For the Museum, this collection of birds is also important to the building’s history. If it hadn’t been for John M. Edson, Old City Hall might not be standing here today. While city officials were considering demolishing it, Edson saw an opportunity to not only save the building, but also to create a public museum within its walls. He dreamed of having a permanent home for his bird specimen collection, and the museum became the perfect showcase.

Now, more than 75 years later, the Whatcom Museum is taking this important collection and reinterpreting it as an educational experience. Designed in collaboration with the North Cascades Audubon Society, the new exhibit will provide opportunities to learn about bird migration, conservation success stories, birds in peril, and the importance of studying bird specimens today. Alongside the interpretive panels and the birds themselves, the Hall of Birds will provide a variety of interactive opportunities, including video clips of birds in our local habitats, audio files of Puget Sound-area bird calls, and hands-on activities for children. We look forward to sharing this important collection with visitors for years to come.

 

FOCUS ON 50: WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE

March 18 – May 31, 2017, Old City Hall

From the beginning of its 50-year history, Whatcom Community College (WCC) has been recognized as an innovator. Talk to people who worked at the College in the early days (when the college offered classes at a hodgepodge of buildings throughout the county) and you’ll hear some unbelievable stories. But the College, and its graduates, thrived. Today, Whatcom is regarded as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges. This exhibition will engage visitors with “groovy” WCC memorabilia, recorded memories and opportunities for guests to share their own Whatcom stories. Join us as we showcase how WCC helps graduates to transform their lives and our community to thrive. Learn more at whatcom.edu/50.

BELLINGHAM NATIONAL 2017 JURIED ART EXHIBITION AND AWARDS @ WHATCOM MUSEUM

June 10 – September 10, 2017, Lightcatcher

Juror: Catharina Manchanda, Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum

The Whatcom Museum is seeking submissions by artists for whom drawing is an important aspect of their work. Submissions may be connected to traditional uses of drawings, as well as newer ideas of language, writing, notation, mapping, movement, dance, performance, as well as connections to space and architecture. Drawing may involve traditional or non-traditional materials and approaches, and can include time-based and site-specific installations or performances. Deadline for entries has been extended to February 24, 2017. Apply online at: https://www.callforentry.org/ and search for Bellingham National 2017.

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.

Download the Bellingham National 2017 Call to Artists.