Whatcom Museum Launches Community Art Project, Participates in Statewide Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour

Submitted by Whatcom Museum

The Whatcom Museum is launching a new community art project this month called Whatcom2 (Whatcom Squared). Community members will turn the Lightcatcher building’s glass Lightwall into a massive “stained glass” patchwork by creating artworks on large transparent squares. The artworks will respond to the prompt, “Show us what your community looks like.”

During the past decade, the Lightcatcher building has hosted numerous stunning art and cultural exhibitions, as well as community workshops and gatherings. Never has the community been asked to adorn the building with their own art. By playing with and changing one of the central elements of the building, namely the light that floods in the Lightwall during summertime, the community can make the Museum their own. 

Individuals and groups can register to decorate 3’ x 3’ clear plastic sheets with designs and imagery that best represents them and their community. The Museum will provide the transparent square sheets for free and once the pieces are completed and returned, they’ll be affixed to the outside of the Museum’s Lightwall for the public to view in the late summer and early fall.

“I’m just excited to open up this huge canvas to the creativity of Bellingham. I can’t wait to see what kind of amazing images our community can put together,” said Museum Educator Drew Whatley.

Community members of all ages in Whatcom County are welcome to design a square—there are more than 250 available to fill. Whatcom Squared is envisioned as a team-based activity, emphasizing community and collaborative efforts. Participants can register online to pick up a sheet or to decorate their squares in the Lightcatcher Courtyard on select dates and following social distancing measures.

Support for this program is provided by the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Project Neighborly grant. To register for a square or for more information visit https://www.whatcommuseum.org/whatcom-squared/.

Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour

The Whatcom Museum is participating in the Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour, organized by the Washington State Historical Society (WSHS). The tour, which will make eight virtual “whistle stops” Aug. 19-26, 2020, is part of a series of virtual events celebrating the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Aug. 26 is Women’s Equality Day, the date that the Nineteenth Amendment was certified. 

Each segment will be hosted by a local historical organization, exploring women’s suffrage history in their geographic region, its legacy and ties to national women’s suffrage efforts.

The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour schedule includes:
Aug. 19 – Spokane—Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

Aug. 20 – Tri-Cities/Walla Walla—Franklin County Historical Society
Aug. 21 – Yakima/Ellensburg—Kittitas County Historical Society
Aug. 22 – Vancouver—Clark County Historical Society
Aug. 23 – Bellingham—Whatcom Museum
Aug. 24 – Seattle—Washington State Women’s Commission
Aug. 25 – Tacoma—Tacoma Historical Society
Aug. 26 – Olympia—Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum

The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour video series will be released on the @washingtonhistory and @suffrage100wa Facebook pages and uploaded to WashingtonHistory.org. The Suffrage Special Whistle Stop Tour is presented in conjunction with Washington State Suffrage Centennial programming (details at www.suffrage100wa.com) through generous legislative support and in partnership with the Washington State Historical Society and the Washington State Women’s Commission’s Votes for Women Centennial Grant.

About the Whatcom Museum

The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., offers a variety of exhibitions, programs, tours and activities about art, nature, and Northwest history for all ages. Its multi-building campus is in the heart of Bellingham’s downtown Arts District. Currently, the Whatcom Museum campus—the Lightcatcher building, Family Interactive Gallery, Old City Hall, and Photo Archives—is closed until Phase 3 of the governor’s Safe Start plan. For updates on Museum operations during COVID-19 visit https://www.whatcommuseum.org/whatcom-museum-covid-19-response/. The Museum is actively posting content on Facebook (@WhatcomMuseum), Twitter (@Whatcom_Museum) and Instagram (@whatcom_museum). 

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